Friday, March 9, 2012

[G] Helping entrepreneurs in the Crescent City

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Official Google Blog: Helping entrepreneurs in the Crescent City

I made my first visit to the Gulf Coast as a Red Cross shelter manager six weeks after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. What I witnessed there made me believe in the potential for individuals and businesses to come together to rebuild a community devastated by disaster. Every year since, I’ve returned to New Orleans to engage in and lead much of Google’s commitment to the area, which has included the direct use of Google Earth to aid in rescue efforts, search tools to help during the aftermath and many service hours put in by Google volunteers.

Almost seven years later, I find myself amazed at the recovery and revitalization of the entire region, specifically in New Orleans. The city has come to embody a spirit of perseverance and evolved into a model for economic and community redevelopment. In 2010, Google provided $102 million of economic activity for Louisiana businesses, website publishers and nonprofits—and there’s still more work to do. Next week, we’re heading back to NOLA once again, this time to serve as the Premier Partner for the fourth annual New Orleans Entrepreneurship Week (NOEW).

Our support for NOEW is diverse and wide-ranging. Among other activities, we’re providing seed grants to up-and-coming educational entrepreneurs in the Education Entrepreneurship Challenge, as well as hosting “Google 101” (and 201) workshops for entrepreneurs and one-on-one Google Office Hours for small business owners. On Saturday, March 10, we’ll be working with Brad Pitt’s foundation, Make It Right, to help the organization engage with supporters globally during their NOEW charity event. At 8:00pm ET the Make It Right Google+ Page will host a live hangout with Brad Pitt and special guests Ellen DeGeneres, Randy Jackson and Aziz Ansari. Following the hangout, real time updates from the evening will be posted exclusively on the Google+ page, and visitors can view photos, ask questions of celebrity guests and watch videos from the evening.

Our sponsorship of NOEW 2012 is one piece of our ongoing work supporting entrepreneurship in New Orleans. Other support includes bringing a major partner, Startup Weekend, to NOLA as well as increasing Accelerate with Google in the region. We look forward to contributing to the entrepreneurship ecosystem to provide real economic opportunities for the New Orleans community, its people and its businesses.

I look at the week ahead as a celebration of the potential that one person has to make a difference—one volunteer, one business owner, one celebrity, even you. What I know for sure is that this one person is looking forward to returning to a city that has captured her heart through its people, its spirit, its music and ah yes, most definitely the food. Hope to see y’all there soon!

Posted by Tara Canobbio, Google New Orleans Outreach Lead
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/03/helping-entrepreneurs-in-crescent-city.html

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