February 8, 2014

About Us

 52businesses helps would-be entrepreneurs start a new business (for or non-profit), each week, every week, and we’re doing so for a year. It’s similar to an accelerator/bootcamp, which immerses that week’s entrepreneur in all things business, using a unique curriculum that we’ve devised. Utilizing our network and support system, we’re able to provide a week’s worth of mentors, meetings, deliverables, and “homework” with everyone from accountants and lawyers to marketers and investors. Using this pro-bono network allows our team to operate with almost no overhead (especially since we work out of different donated office spaces each week)

We believe that hands-on education through our successes and failures will be invaluable. The most important part of our process, is that we focus on action rather than simply planning that action, then providing information about that process to all the world.   Throughout the next year, we will seek/use the right tools, the right process, and the right guidance, to show some possible solutions to common issues facing new business owners.

People should not have to spend their pension, children’s college fund, or quit their jobs, in order to start their new business. Our goal is to help entrepreneurs with the scariest part of starting a business: Taking that first step. We want to help as many people as we can, start their new businesses, and introduce them to our network of supporters that will allow for responsible and sustainable growth, for as many small business owners as possible.

What do we mean by “starting a business”?

To our team, 52businesses means bringing an idea out of the clouds and onto the ground (and onto paper).  Businesses have come to us at all different stages – some are just about to launch for the first time, some are just ideas, and some have been in the works for months.  However, each business is very early stage and each business needs some sort of help.

On Monday morning, the 52businesses team sits down with the business founders and determines the most important steps for starting that business and/or getting them to where they need to be.

What happens to the business when the week is over?

This varies from week to week.  For some businesses, like Week 2’s Touracle and Week 8’s wedding vow site, we continue to work on some aspects of the business every week in the background.  Most often, however, we will set up each business with the right tools and contacts to better ensure their success.  We do, of course, check in on them time to time.  In fact, we have created many good friends through our experiences so far, and many of them continue to be involved with 52businesses through guest posts and expert meetings.

Why are we even doing this in the first place?

The idea of starting 52 businesses in a year probably seems crazy–and we’ll be the first to admit that it is! In addition to it being a fun and exciting challenge, we believe that the hands-on education will prove invaluable for ourselves, the aspiring entrepreneurs we work with, and those following our journey.

How does 52businesses, itself, make money?

Our revenue streams include advertisers, sponsors, affiliate referrals, and profits from any successful businesses that 52businesses creates itself.  We do not take a cut from our weekly businesses (nor do we charge them a price for working with us).  Sounds to good to be true?  We promise it’s not.  There’s no catch here!

Does 52businesses take equity in other people’s businesses?

The easiest answer is no. However, if a founder wants our continued involvement in the day-to-day activities of a business begun in a partnership with us and we deem long-term partnership feasible, we will be open to discussing some sort of arrangement. However, if a founder simply wants to come take part in our hyper-accelerator/boot camp, we will absolutely not take equity–after all, it’s their business.

Who is behind 52businesses?

Our ambitious team will be anchored by our 2 co-founders: Colin Grussing, a serial entrepreneur and Yale grad whose previous ventures include RootSuit and NOLA Sidecars, and Jason Seidman, a third-generation New Orleans-bred entrepreneur and Executive Director of NOLATech Week. Check out Full Bios for all of our team members here.


How is 52businesses different than an incubator?

Unlike many incubators, our accelerator bootcamp only lasts for a week!  That means we spend all day, every day with our weekly business and then – poof! – we’re gone.

Not really though.  We keep in touch with all of the people we’ve worked with, but we don’t have any fellowship programs or long-term consulting services.  We get as much done in a week as we can – which, believe us, is quite a lot.

How can I get 52businesses to work with my business?

Submit your ideas here.  We will review all of the submissions and get back in touch with you if you are selected to be one of our 52 weeks!

Do I have to be in New Orleans for 52businesses to work with me?

Not necessarily!  So far, we’ve been working with businesses and non-profits in the New Orleans area, but we have a lot of weeks ahead of us!  Go ahead and submit your idea here, no matter where you’re from.