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Pitchers and Draft 2018

Pitchers and Draft 2018


The final event of the three-day Opportunity Machine Innovation Conference (OMIC)– a competition called “Pitchers & Draft” – featured five teams that challenged innovation by combining culture and technology for the CREATE Initiative.     

On the first day of the OMIC, Mayor-President Joel Robideaux “pitched” challenges related to his CREATE Initiative, dedicated to growing the cultural economy through a sustained focus on Culture, Recreation, Entertainment, Arts, Tourism and Economy. Five Acadiana-based teams composed of academics, business people, artists, and others accepted the challenge and pitched back possible remedies at Jefferson Street Pub on the final night of the OMIC.

Each team chose one challenge to address.

One challenge asked teams to build on CREATE’s Asset Inventory by identifying additional culture and recreation assets in Lafayette Parish and come up with ways of using available resources to build upon those assets. A three-person team that called themselves “A Few Cajuns and a Bloke” (the bloke, Anthony Puttee, is from Australia) said they would use a blend of outreach, data collection and the construction of a web platform to implement their plan.

Another challenge asked teams how they would promote more awareness of the CREATE Initiative including a third challenge immediately resolving a funding gap and engagement for the Cajun BMX Park at Picard Park.

One team zeroed in on how they would help the nascent Lafayette BMX track gain traction and become an economic driver in the region, while another team crafted a plan to help the CREATE initiative reach youths through social media who are looking to be more engaged in the Lafayette community through events and other opportunities.

The winners were Team Capstone, composed of three MBA candidates from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, which created a community-driven awareness campaign for the CREATE Initiative. Capstone was awarded the $2,500 grand prize.

After hearing all of the team pitches, the CREATE team reached out to all of the teams for an estimate on the implementation costs of their proposals, and to gauge each team’s interest in continuing to work with the CREATE Initiative.

Competing Teams: 

  • Capstone: Katelyn Huval, Brenna LeDay, Josh Weilbacher
  • The705: Christy Pennison, Roddy Bergeron, Jillian Dickerson, Nic Walts, Evan Boudreaux 
  • Magicbird: Michelle Foreman, Bruce Mayo, Zachary Young, Maura Dupré 
  • A Few Cajuns and a Bloke: Anthony Puttee, Addie Broussard, Seth Thomas
  • Create. EnGAUGE. Inspire.: Terysa Ridgeway, Ruben Henderson, Taniecea Mallery