Ever since my life-changing experience with NOLAbound back in March, my fellow NOLAbounders and I have been publicly blogging and privately discussing behind-the-scenes about our unique experiences. I wanted to wait at least a month before my next posts, to allow some time to click by and the NOLAbound hangover to subside.
While most conversations we had were private, the public conversations had specifically focused on the process of moving to, and creating businesses in New Orleans. Some of us had decided we are going to put New Orleans (NOLA) to the test — starting a business.
Of our NOLAbounders, one is already putting New Orleans to the test. Chris Boyd sold his house in Houston, packed his bags, quit his ‘corporate job’ and moved to New Orleans. Oh, and his iPhone and iPad app developer start-up Apptitude. Go Chris! Go.
THE TIME HAS COME
Several other NOLAbounders have expressed similar interest in opening their own businesses in New Orleans, too. I am one of those. After three decades in the film and television industry in Hollywood, I see great opportunities in The Big Easy to launch an incubator studio and production company.
The start-up idea actually came to me post-Katrina, when I was wondering about the local independent filmmaking community and where it had gone. I lobbied and brought the 48 Hour Film Project to New Orleans and launched its inaugural year. Were it not for my efforts in bringing this competition to NOLA, I wonder what would have ever happened to the local indie community. I’m proud to say the competition is still going strong.
Stan Gill gave the independent film community a collective voice overnight. — John Dean Alfone, Corsair Media Productions
This ‘incubator idea’ I had been working on was an effort to develop the skills base and crew talent base in New Orleans and its surrounding areas. Bringing some of my friends who are professionals in their trades in Hollywood to NOLA to teach others in classes was the original incarnation of my idea.
Unfortunately, life took me in another direction. New beginnings. Flash forward to 2012.
TESTING … ONE, TWO, THREE
It’s now time to bring my start-up to New Orleans.
I will be testing the waters (pun intended) of New Orleans’ so-called new approach to business and see whether or not NOLA is all talk and no action. My past has shown NOLA to be all talk and horrible action. New Orleans’ political and business past are fresh in my mind, so cynicism is probably too light a word for me.
While I have read volumes of articles and studies heralding New Orleans’ and Louisiana’s new business climate, I will report back — the good, the bad and the ugly — of my experiences with New Orleans. I believe this would only be fair to those who are reading my posts, prospective businesses looking at NOLA and the three organizations responsible for NOLAbound 2012 — Downtown Development District, Greater New Orleans, Inc. and The Idea Village.
In future posts I’ll provide more details on this entrepreneurial start-up. In the meantime, think entertainment incubator, studio and production company ideas.
Wish me luck.