Innovation is in the air in New Orleans. Eight years out from Hurricane Katrina, the city has begun in many ways to redefine itself, with the storm “[kickstarting] an age of innovation and an economic renaissance in a city written off for dead.” Though entrepreneurial efforts span industries, education is a major focus. Katrina and its aftereffects incited a community-wide effort to enact positive change in New Orleans’ already-struggling schools.
One of the organizations dedicated to encouraging edtech innovation both in New Orleans and beyond is 4.0 Schools, an early-stage incubator that brings together teachers, entrepreneurs, and technologists looking to create lasting change. Rather than focus on temporary band-aid solutions for deep-rooted problems, 4.0 Schools launches “relevant solutions that redefine how we teach and learn.” The organization, which facilitates public events like hackathons and pitch competitions as well as intensive programs for aspiring entrepreneurs (it has launched 23 ventures to date) is in the process of expanding to New York.
Says CEO Matt Candler, “At 4.0, people matter more than ideas. We aren’t sure what the future of education will look like, but through the entrepreneurs in our community we are learning more and more about those with the most potential to define it.”