Video Transcript

00:09 Robbie Vitrano: What's happened in a very fascinating way for us coming from New Orleans where we got about a two-year head start on the recession, basically everyone was forced into sort of an entrepreneurial mode, we grew out of that kind of climate, is that when you go to a place like Dubai, or a developing area, Mumbai, or Nairobi where I was a couple of weeks ago, you find that the conversations are virtually identical.

00:30 Vitrano: So, back to the cocktail napkin of Idea Village, in the same environment of which Naked Pizzas a significant part of it, both as a local company as well as in the communities that we serve around the world, we've had a massive impact. The Idea Village here has an astounding success with number of assessments, number of entrepreneurs that have come through. Twenty-six million in private capital has been brought in as a result of the vetting and the quality of businesses coming through. Thousands of hours of engagement by professionals in the community. What's important about that is not just the charity, it's the amount of involvement from good, smart people and giving them something to do to contribute their expertise and their knowledge. And that's made our community a lot better. And it's created greater capacity and resilience here. And that's gonna pay forward for many, many years for us.

01:20 Vitrano: Next week is New Orleans Entrepreneurial Week. We're in our fourth year of doing that. The first year we went out and basically said New Orleans is a great place for a business school to come here and learn about grass roots, ground up entrepreneurship, learn about contribution. So we went out to San Fransisco and New York. We pitched Stanford and we pitched Cal Berkley. We're invited on the Google's campus and invited Google to come in and bring a team here. And now we are four years later and business schools from around the world are competing to come here. We line them up, with entrepreneurs. We bring teams from businesses like Google and HP. We bring all the major foundations in, Kauffman and Aspen Institute. And now we have some of the largest VCs in the country coming here to connect with these entrepreneurs and look for deals. So, it's really gained some terrific resonance.

02:15 Vitrano: In terms of just pure starts, Brookings, I think, put this together. We are out pacing the nation, this is a three-year snapshot, by about 40% in terms of new business startups per capita, which is, again, extraordinary. You consider this city was in decline for the better part of my lifetime, for over 40 years prior to the Katrina event. And what's happened since then, again, it's not purely an economic success as much as it is about the role of entrepreneurship and business as a subset of the overall community.

02:49 Vitrano: So, it also got some significant recognition from Inc., from Forbes, entrepreneur in the Kauffman Index in terms of that success. So, this quote from one of our sages here, Wynton Marsalis, a great native son that's gone on to do profound things at Lincoln Center and beyond, had this beautiful eloquent quote about New Orleans. And the journey that I've been on, and I think so many of us had been on...