The SEED Center is a partnership between the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, the city of Lake Charles and McNeese State University. (Photo courtesy of McNeese State University.)
Last Modified: Monday, April 07, 2014 1:01 PM
The Second Annual Business Pitch competition last week attracted a diverse collection of budding entrepreneurs. Three men have been chosen of the eight finalists who pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges.
The winners are Chris Meaux of Waitr Inc., Matthew Breaux of We Can Put a Computer in That, and Kamon Ange of PearShoes.com.
“The SEED Center Business Incubator in only 7 months of operation is nearly half full and continues to attract some of the most creative entrepreneurs in the region,” said Adrian Wallace, SEED Center Executive Director. “This is a testament that we can indeed ‘grow our own’ dynamic businesses here in Southwest Louisiana.”
Wallace said he was pleased for the community support and that of the Angels of Southwest Louisiana, which donated $1,000 to each winner. Winners will also receive six months free rent in the business incubator at the SEED Center.
Waitr Inc. is a smartphone menu and digital marketing platform that allows guests to order and pay on their phone right from the table of the restaurant.
Chris Meaux said winning the competition will give him access to resources and grow the company.
Meaux said he created the app because of his joint experience in technology and the restaurant industry.
“I saw a lot of things in the restaurant business that I felt technology could help,” Meaux said Sunday. “Waitr is not meant to replace servers in the restaurant. It’s meant to augment those servers to allow them to be more responsive to the guests’ service needs.”
He said taking away the ordering and the paying process out of the hands of the server gives them more time on the floor with the guests.
“It’s not meant to replace servers because it never could,” he said. “It will just help them do a better a job.”
We Can Put a Computer in That
The premise of Matthew Breaux’s business, We Can Put a Computer in That, is to provide computer modification services.
“Customers can send in an item they would like modified into a computer case, and we basically make a personal home computer out of it,” Breaux said. “I’m really excited to implement it in this area.”Breaux, who is a management major at McNeese State University, hopes to employ fellow McNeese students as interns.
He said winning the competition creates an opportunity for him to learn from people with skills and experience.
Breaux’s interest in computer modification, or “computer modding,” stems from playing with computers his whole life.
“I’m disabled, so a lot of my activities revolved around what I could do inside on a computer,” he said. “Before re-enrolling in McNeese I spent a number of years teaching myself to build computers and when I finally made my first build I had a lot of fun doing it. I got back into college with the intent to pursue that further.”
Kamon Ange’s website, PearShoes.com, is an online subscription-based shoe site for baby shoes.
Users would have a monthly subscription after choosing which shoes you would like for your child, either infant or toddler.
“As part of your subscription we’ll send you the next six shoe every month or every two months depending on how much your child grows,” said Ange, who is a management major at McNeese. “You only have to shop online once and you get your shoes shipped to your door. It’s convenient and affordable for parents.”
Ange said there is also a social aspect to the website. The old shoes are sent back in the same boxes that the new ones are sent in. The old shoes are donated to a child in need in the United States or a third world country.
While in the business incubator, Ange hopes to meet with an attorney to become an LLC or become incorporated. He also wants to make improvements to his website.
For more information contact the business incubator at 337-433-0977 or visit www.seedcenterswla.com.