Lawrence Talks Sweets

“I would start a restaurant of sweets. It would be of any character or superhero from a book. Whether it would be Super Man or Candace from the Hunger Games, the name of the restaurant would be ‘Story Time Snacks.’ It is a place where people would dress in the costumes of the character they ordered. I would have cake, cupcakes, candy, and chocolates. I know many people love snacks, and many people love super heroes to dress up as..and of course books. So I choose to bring to life the images you see in your head. That is my goal. And of course, I want it to stay open on the weekend 24/7 with good deals. I even do characters you make up in your head. I hope you have a sweet life at Lawrence’s Story Time Snacks. ”


French Fries

 Dashane, inspired by Startup Effect’s Blue Runner challenge, talks about starting a French fries company:

“The company I want to start is a French fries company because  I LOVE FRENCH FRIES. I love French fries because even just the smell gets you floating in the air towards it. When you put French fries in your mouth, it savors so much in your mouth that you don’t want it to leave. French fries is a great business to start. It’s a great a way to get quick money in your business because you can sell French fries at a higher volume than hamburgers.”

A Blue Runner Party

Tyreke, Erielle, and Paiton talk about their experience cooking with Blue Runner. 

“Blue Runner beans are easy to make and delicious when they come out of the pot. It makes me want to cook these beans again because they are the best beans I have ever tasted. The beans make every creole food happy like Gumbo, Jambalaya, etc..

Get the Blue Runner beans today and give your taste buds a party :)”


“My teammates and I were asked to cook a meal using Blue Runner beans. During the process of cooking this meal, I realized cooking can be fun, quick, and high quality all at the same time. I’m so happy I had the opportunity to cook Blue Runner beans with my mom. ”


“Over the past two weeks, we’ve been testing Blue Runner beans in multiple ways. So far we’ve concluded that Blue Runner beans is not only delicious, but they are very able to represent New Orleans and their style of cooking. I cooked Blue Runner red beans because I wanted to expand their franchise and popularity in New Orleans and show how simple a can of beans can pack a powerful blend of flavor and excitement. Blue Runner is a company that I will recommend to all of my friends.”


Bring on the Blue Runner

Ferneisha and Destiny talk about their experiences cooking with Blue Runner red beans.

“I told my mom I wanted some red beans, but I was too hungry to wait for them to cook. Suddenly, I remembered I had two cans of Blue Runner red beans. I dumped the can in the pot, added my personal ingredients, and moments later I was enjoying tasty cajun red beans.”


I came home from school…hungry,hungry. I asked my mom if  I could have some red beans. My mom told me it will take two hours. I suggested Blue Runner red beans because it will only take 2-5 minutes to cook and you can add your own ingredients such as seasonings, chicken, sugar, biscuits, and  smoked sausage.”


Startup (Effect) Your Engines

It’s Startup Effect season, and the New Orleans team just selected our first group of students from KIPP Central City Academy (KCCA), an amazing charter school near downtown New Orleans. We put them through a pretty intense selection process, consisting of a written application and a one-on-one interview. To be honest, I initially didn’t know what to expect from our applicants, but I was quickly blown away. I want to highlight several responses we received on our written applications that exemplify the enthusiastic, forward-looking, and driven nature of our students: 

“In 5 years from now I see myself bigger and better than I am now.”

“In 10 years, I see myself in a house with my family and a good job.”

“I want to learn to do all types of things with companies and to use a computer, because almost everything these days is controlled by some sort of computer.”

“I am a gentle soul with a hard working heart." 

Furthermore, the majority of our students had never had an interview before, which created a fantastic learning opportunity and some lively discussion.  We debriefed after all the interviews were over and came to several conclusions as a group:

1. It’s OK to be nervous, you’ll calm down as you start talking to the interviewer.

2. Come prepared, so you sound sharp and comfortable.

3. Be yourself! The interviewer wants to get to know you. Don’t try to be someone you are not. 

These are good points to keep in mind no matter who you are, but especially for those about to prep for their first interview. 

So, now that our kids are expert interviewers, they are ready to face the many challenges and experiences that lie ahead during this first Startup Effect term!

Our Story

StartUp Effect was founded in the summer of 2012 by four Venture For America fellows, Billy Schrero, Brentt Baltimore, Brian Bosche, and Mike Mayer, while attending their VFA training camp at Brown University. Venture for America is a program for young, talented grads to spend 2 years in the trenches of a start-up with the goal that these graduates will become socialized and mobilized as entrepreneurs moving forward. Modeled after Teach for America, Venture for America will provide a path for entrepreneurship to college grads who want to learn how to build companies and create jobs. The goal is that a substantial proportion of VFA Fellows will become successful entrepreneurs, preferably rooted in the communities to which they are assigned.

But, what happens when these VFA fellows leave their placement cities? How can these transitioning cities establish a lasting legacy of innovation and value creation? That’s why StartUp Effect was founded. With Venture For America Fellows coming and going year after year, Billy, Brentt, Brian, and Mike identified a real need to spur entrepreneurial thought where it matters most – in the minds of the youth in these newly growing cities. By empowering youth with the necessary tools to think independently, proactively, and creatively, our transitioning cities will grow through innovation and with a new sense of vigor.