Six Loyola University New Orleans MBA students will put their consulting skills to the test when they team up with Cajun Fire Brewing Company, a locally owned and operated New Orleans-based craft brewery, to compete during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, March 22-28. The week-long event is expected to engage more than 5,000 of the nation's most innovative business leaders, financiers, entrepreneurs and students who come together to support early-stage New Orleans ventures and expose emerging business opportunities.
Loyola will join MBA students from five other universities for The Idea Village's IDEAcorps. IDEAcorps is an entrepreneurial experiential learning program that has engaged more than 500 individuals from more than 20 business schools across the U.S. Loyola's team will compete against Cornell University's Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, Tulane University's A.B. Freeman School of Business, University of California Berkeley's Haas School of Business, University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, and University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.
The team, which is made up of students enrolled in a Loyola entrepreneurship workshop with assistant professor of management Felipe Massa, Ph.D., includes: team leader Kevin Gordon, William Mather, Melissa Gurdian, Michael Barrera, Nic Hanson and Ryan Murphy.
MBA students will work with Cajun Fire during Entrepreneur Week to tackle critical business challenges and leverage strategic opportunities. Before Entrepreneur Week kicks off, team members sit in on the entrepreneur meetings, get advice from local business experts and learn new tools that enrich the consulting engagement.
"The objective is to help the entrepreneur and give students exposure to real-world consulting," said Massa. "My only goal is to make sure they are serving the client well and that they are learning something more than they would learn in the classroom. If Loyola students can create real value for the entrepreneur, everyone wins."
Cajun Fire Brewing Company looks to add innovative takes on traditional styles and add diversification to the option of local craft brews available in the New Orleans region. Additionally, according to its owners, the brewery is currently one of a very small handful of African-American owned craft breweries in the U.S. and the only one in the South.
"Ultimately, the goal of Cajun Fire Brewing Company is to inspire the entrepreneurial spirit and positively exceed expectations of what the population has experienced from the most profound yet misunderstood beverage of civilization. With passion, we are creating a sustainable flagship company that we are confident will be a testament of civic pride for New Orleanians for generations to come," said Brewmaster Jon Renthrope.
For more information, please contact Meredith Hartley in Loyola's Office of Public Affairs at 504-861-5883 or 504-722-6078.