By Stewart Yerton, Business Writer
Times-Picayune, Money Section,
Orleans-based maker of computer software for the oil and gas industry is the
first winner of a contest for high-tech entrepreneurs, marking what the event's
founders say will be a continuing effort to nurture technology firms in the
The company received the award from the Loa Group on Thursday at a ceremony at the House of Blues
regional general manager of Cox Interactive Medial in
something that's sort of a lay-up for us" in
Other finalists were Workboatrentals.com, an on-line marketplace for maritime transportation; rezMD.com, a career service for doctors; The Homework Site, an Internet service for school administrators, MD Technologies, a maker of management software for doctors, and America Insurance On-line, and on-line insurance brokerage.
Named for a bar
where its members meet each month, the Loa Group was established by a handful
of technology, new media and advertising executives who wanted to promote
growth of new economy industries in
In addition to Williamson, its members include Allen Bell of Nola.com; Darin McAuliffe of turbotrip.com; Greg Meffert of Certia; and Robbie Vitrano of Trumpet Advertising.
The contest started in August, when the group's founders anted up $10,000 in cash as a prize. Then other firms began stepping up, offering a host of in-kind services for the winner.
include: Adelphia Business Solutions; Arthur
Anderson; Bahroux Interactive; Bent Media; CommTech Industries; Carrero,
Fishman, Haygood, Phelps, Walmsley
& Casteix, LLP; House of Blues; Kensington
Business Centers; LOA Grope; Sales
Training Institute; W Hotels.
The Loa Group's members are native New Orleanians who worked elsewhere and returned home. Williamson said he hopes the Loa Group can be a catalyst of significant economic development.
"All we need is a few trophies out of this community, and we'll show people -- it can happen here," he said.
Williamson acknowledged that nurturing a new industry is not a quick fix for the city's economic woes. But he said the results could be profound
about taking a bunch of palm trees and putting them on
By Keith Brannon
The company will
receive approximately $115,000 in cash and services, including a year of
premium downtown office space.
The Loa Group is a
technology advocacy group comprised primarily of entrepreneurs who run
successful Internet ventures in
Matthew Steckel has worked in the oil industry since 1965, most notably serving from 1983 to 1988 as president of Tamoil Corp., a company that acquired all of the Italian assets of Amoco and Texaco.
represent what we are trying to do ," Loa member
Tim Williamson. "We in
Five other companies made the final round of cuts in the contest before a winner was selected. Loa selected MD Technologies, RezMD.com, Workboatrentals.com, The Homework site and America Insurance On-line as finalists.
The contest will
Loa members include Allen Bell, general manager of Nola.com; Greg Meffert, founder and chief technology officer of computer security and encryption company Certia Inc.; Williamson, regional general manager for Cox Interactive Media; Darin McAuliffe, chief operating officer of hotel reservation service turbotrip.com; Vitrano, owner of Trumpet, and advertising company that specializes in promoting on-line ventures; and Sally Forman and Michele Carrere of local even coordinating company Inside Spreaders.