2022 Best Startups in New Orleans

New Orleans Top Startups, 2022

New Orleans is known for its carefree attitude and vibrant energy as the home of jazz and Mardi Gras. The city’s slogan is “laissez les bon temps rouler.” This roughly translates to “let the good times roll.” Indeed, the good times seem to be rolling briskly in with tech and other New Orleans startups.

A favorable tax environment has encouraged many out-of-towners and digital nomads to put down roots in the area. These include tech companies like Gameloft and DXC Technology. But, New Orleans also has many homegrown hits firing up the tech space in recent years.

The Silicon Bayou experienced a boost in the startup scene not long after the exodus of residents post- Katrina. Entrepreneurs looking for a “low cost/high culture” alternative to major cities filled the void. Thus, we put together a list of top startups in New Orleans to show off the incredible talent in NOLA.

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In this article, we are covering the top New Orleans startups to watch in 2022. Each has the potential to grow considerably beyond local success with significant job creation, funding rounds, and innovation.

Top New Orleans Startups to Watch in 2022

Align Today builds business development and project management software to help companies manage remote teams better. The software encourages collaboration among employees. Additionally, it uses the Objectives and Key Results (OKR) framework to set goals.

The idea is to achieve big goals faster through a single feature-rich dashboard. This makes it particularly relevant today with so many companies embracing the remote work model.

The development of the software suite was before its time. Now, it is reaping the benefits under the leadership of CEO Doug Walner. Align Today has succeeded in raising $2.2 million in one Series A funding round since its founding.

Doug Walner

CEO, Align Today

Startup Hustle spoke with Doug Walner about “How to Measure Your Company’s Progress.” Listen to the episode here.

No one likes to spend more time in a doctor’s waiting room than necessary. DOCPACE aims to solve that pain point. Essentially a queue management software, DOCPACE uses predictive analytics to increase scheduling efficiency and decrease staff workload.

The goal of DOCPACE is to minimize patients’ waiting time by using existing data of a high-volume practice. The predictive technology automatically sends appointment status updates to patients via text so they know when they should come.

With the patient appointment decisions off their hands, staff can focus on providing quality care to patients. It’s a small thing, but DOCPACE solves a significant challenge for busy practices, as CEO and founder Shelby Sanderford anticipated.

Shelby Sanderford

CEO & Founder, DOCPACE

Startup Hustle talked with Shelby Sanderford about her journey and the natural hesitation of would-be entrepreneurs to go ahead with their ideas. Listen to the episode “What Are You Waiting For?” here or read the highlights here.

El Guapo Bitters is building the country’s first non-alcoholic bitters brewery. They use a proprietary process to brew alcohol-free bitters. About 50% of its revenue comes from DTC sales.

However, El Guapo Bitters wasn’t always a B2C company. It started as a B2B manufacturer distributing to companies such as Whole Foods and bars across New Orleans. Since the pandemic, it pivoted to mostly online selling of its bitters, syrups and mixers. As a result, its sales rocketed to 882% in April 2020 compared to the previous year.

El Guapo Bitters currently distributes through partner companies in 49 states, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. They specifically supply Total Wine, Whole Foods, World Market, Rouses Markets, and others. El Guapo Bitters has received $1.1 million in a seed series announced in 2021.

Christa Cotton

CEO & Founder, El Guapo Bitters

Startup Hustle spoke with Christa Cotton, CEO and founder of El Guapo Bitters, on “The Truth About Being First to Market.” Listen to the full episode here or get the highlights and rough transcript here.

Many people have a problem with animal testing, deeming it cruel and inhumane. But, animal testing is necessary for vital clinical research into human diseases and the development of life-saving drugs. There just might be a solution to that dilemma.

Obatala is a biotechnology company that makes the components used by researchers to mimic tissue from patients of varying demographics. Their flagship product, ObaCell™, is a unique fat tissue model for disease modeling and drug screening.

The information from clinical research using these “fat-in-a-cell” tools provides insights into the human body. This mainly includes the response to new therapies at an earlier stage of the drug development process.

Above all, the goal is to save research companies significant amounts of money and time and bypass animal testing that fails in humans each year. With CEO Trivia Frazier, Obatala has obtained $1.3 million in two funding rounds from three investors since its founding.

Trivia Frazier

CEO, Obatala Sciences

Startup Hustle had an interesting conversation with Trivia Frazier on the intricacies of “Biotech Startups.” Listen to the episode here.

Many companies send newsletters to their subscribers and customers to keep the brand top of mind. While customizing newsletters for each subscriber would be ideal, the effort and time involved make it impractical.

Rasa.io solves that problem. The company offers a newsletter automation platform that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to send smart newsletters that are unique for each subscriber. In other words, their AI creates content based on individual recipients’ engagement and behavior to previous newsletters.

Users of the platform will benefit from higher engagement with their subscribers. Rasa.io also allows them to set the frequency, day, and time for sending newsletters, so everything is automated.

If you don’t mind the Rasa.io branding, the good news for small businesses is that the service is free for up to 10,000 messages a month. The company is under the leadership of founder and executive chairman Amith Nagarajan and COO Jared Loftus.

Erica Salm Rench

Director of Customer Success, Rasa.io

Startup Hustle spoke with Rasa.io’s Director of Customer Success Erica Salm Rench about the importance of personalizing “Company Newsletters.” Listen to the episode here or read the highlights here.

If you are a fur parent or you just like dressing up pets, you should get good quality costumes. Pet Krewe is a popular pet costume company in New Orleans that produces the best mix of fun, quality, and valuable outfits. In short, it designs, produces, and sells pet costumes, toys, and craft kits for dogs and cats. The company also offers wholesale listings.

The goal of Pet Krewe is to provide only the best costumes for all occasions by personally inspecting every outfit they carry. The company, under the watchful eye of CEO Allison Albert, was even featured in Pet Stars on Netflix in 2021.

One study estimates that the average cost of developing a new drug is $1.3 billion. This explains why some of the most vital medicines that come to market often have high price tags. One way to reduce those costs is to streamline the process using microchip technology.

Like Obatala, AxoSim does away with animal testing in neurological research by offering drug discovery platforms Nerve-on-a-Chip® and BrainSim®. AxoSim works with pharmaceutical companies for the faster and more cost-effective development of drugs. The technology mimics the behavior of in vivo nervous system in an in vitro setting.

The goal is to reduce clinical failure by becoming an integral part of the drug development process. Companies using AxoSim foster innovation and facilitate breakthroughs in treating the world’s most devastating diseases.

AxoSim provides the only two commercially available platforms with 3D human-relevant myelination. This is the process that allows the rapid transmission of information along neural fibers. Under CEO Lowry Curey, the company has received $10.5 million in 11 funding rounds from 8 investors since its founding.

Is dating a problem for dog lovers? It could be. Dog people are often in a world of their own. Their love and affection for their fur babies influence their behavior. This may seem excessive for those who take a more casual attitude towards their pets. If you have that problem, look no further as Dig has your back.

Dig is a free dating app designed to connect people whose love of dogs dictates their lives. Created by sisters Leigh D’Angelo and Casey Isaacson, the app benefits people who want to meet others with a dog-forward lifestyle. You can think of Dig as Bumble for single fur parents.

Currently, Dig has 20,000 members, creating a fun and whole community of dog lovers and owners looking for relationships. It suggests possible matches by analyzing profile information and dating preferences. Dig creators also developed a similar app for cat people: Tabby.

Under the leadership of CEO Leigh D’Angelo, Dig has become a popular niche market for pet brand advertising. The company has received $410,000 in two funding rounds since its founding in 2017.

If you own or manage properties, you might want to consider RentCheck to manage inspections.

RentCheck is a mobile app for self-guided inspections to save property managers and tenants time and money. By using the app, property managers can standardize and complete the process of moving in and moving out for tenants. Physical presence is not required.

The benefits are real, especially for property owners who may be far away. Property inspections typically require extensive collaboration between owners, managers, and tenants to schedule and complete.

RentCheck streamlines the process by allowing tenants to do their own inspections. The property manager can request tenants by email to complete assessments. Then, the app automatically sends reminders until completion. Tenants who are moving out can use the app to document the completion of the inspection. Doing so allows them to get their security deposit as quickly as possible.

The company has created quite a bit of interest among investors, especially with the rise of remote real estate investing. Under the leadership of CEO Marco Nelson, RentCheck has received $3.7M in three funding rounds from 11 investors since its founding in 2019.

Most people are unaware of the extensive skill sets required to manage a library. Skilltype addresses the need for upskilling in the library ecosystem. So, they created a software platform with tools that modernize talent management workflows. It is an end-to-end digital platform that one investor characterizes as the “LinkedIn for skills.”

Skilltype offers product options to help organizations give employees on-demand professional development that aligns with their objectives and goals. Under the leadership of founder and CEO Tony Zanders, the platform has raised $1.1M in two funding rounds. They have garnered funds from two investors since its founding in 2018.

Virtual reality (VR) provides a sensory experience for users using sight, hearing, taste, and touch. VR is a rapidly growing global industry worth $4.84 billion in 2021 and projected to triple in 2024.

StrikerVR aims to cater to and drive demand for VR in the entertainment niche by designing haptic (sense of touch) accessories. These mimic tactile events such as the pull of a fishing line and the pounding of a boom box for an immersive experience.

The design includes modular tracking inserts for mounting controllers and support for headsets. The goal is to drive innovation in haptic VR and become the future of VR, particularly in location-based entertainment (LBE).

While they have provided gun-like VR accessories for location-based VR companies, it plans to sell haptic VR peripherals directly to consumers. The release date of its new products is unknown, but the site promises it is coming soon.

StrikeVR also plans to increase its staff and expand the capabilities of its VR products. Under the leadership of CEO Kyle Monti, the tech startup has raised approximately $4 million from undisclosed investors since 2020.

Hotels and other hospitality industry businesses must deal with many moving parts, including clearing away guest food trays. That task alone takes more time and resources than you might imagine. TrayAway provides a solution.

TrayAway is a mobile platform for seamless contactless tray retrieval using. It comes with color-custom branding and saves hospitality management time and money resources. They do this by automating some aspects of the room service tray retrieval from one easy-to-use dashboard.

The goal is to streamline the tray removal system for room service. The TrayAway app records delivery, meal completion, and do-not-disturb times for stress-free management. TrayAway combines Internet of Things (IoT) technology with software to improve staff efficiency by tracking the location and status of every tray and trolley on property.

When a guest wants a tray removed, they can do that by clicking a TrayAway device to let staff know. The app alerts the assigned staff about the request for timely removal.

The company celebrated its 100th location in 2020. Under the leadership of co-CEOs Will Lovett and Josh Johnston, TrayAway has acquired $318,000 in funding since its founding.

New Orleans Startups Jazz It Up

New Orleans is unique in many ways, so it is not surprising that local startups and companies are making waves in tech and other industries. While it may not yet be the tech hub it aspires to be, the uplifting spirit characteristic of the city may still earn it the moniker of “Silicon Bayou” in the future.

If you would like to read more about top startups in other cities, check out our list here!

At Startup Hustle, we enjoy featuring startup and innovative founders in New Orleans. We highlight the efforts and achievements of the brightest and most creative minds of emerging companies that inspire. If you are a hustler in the startup and entrepreneurial scene, we should get together.

Contact us on Startup Hustle and be our guest!