Cheer for FED, Cheer for NOLA

By Mike Mayer, Class of 2012

One chapter in New Orleans’ ongoing rags to riches story is the newly burgeoning startup renaissance. From to to Forbes, NOLA is “gaining momentum” as “the place to be” for entrepreneurs:

  • #1 city for young entrepreneurs in America by
  • #1 on list of “America’s Biggest Brain Magnets” for people under 25 with college degrees by Forbes
  • New Orleans leads the USA by 30% in number of startups per capita (Federal Reserve Bank)

The narrative is accurate and exciting but is often lost on those not familiar with this scene. My goal is to put a face to New Orleans’ startup name.

Since August, I’ve been on the front lines of the hottest tech startup in New Orleans, Federated Sample, which builds technology to automate and simplify market research. I didn’t join FED because I was passionate about market research, but because it successfully disrupts an industry plagued by reluctance to change and inefficiency. On my first day, CEO Patrick Comer told me “It’s not about if we are going to explode, it’s about when.” Three months later, I witnessed two of the top five market research firms transition all of their surveys onto our platform, Fulcrum. Patrick came out of his office after the last major win of 2012 and rejoiced, “We still have a long way to go, but we’re growing fast and we’ve made a market.”

High growth is one of the most important metrics to gauge a startup’s early success. Without growth, an organization is an idea trying to gain traction. With growth, it is a young business hopeful of taking off. With high growth, it is a successful startup. Federated Sample is high growth.

Below is a graph of the number of interviews on Fulcrum since the company’s founding:

(Interviews are defined as people who take surveys on the Fulcrum platform)

As the slope of the growth curve steepens, so does FED’s ability to drive NOLA’s economic comeback. How? Because more FED revenue and growth mean:

  1. Job growth
    • Attracts new talent (brain gain = spending citizens)
    • Retains talent
  2. Increased attention from investors (entrepreneurs follow capital!)
  3. More opportunities & resources to engage with community issues
  4. Increased tax revenue for the city

So, when reading stories about New Orleans’ rebirth, think to FED’s rising success and cheer us on. Because when we win, NOLA wins. Who DAT? FED DAT!


Mike Mayer graduated from UPenn Wharton in 2012 with a degree in Finance and currently works as an Executive Analyst at Federated Sample in New Orleans. He also co-founded a non-profit organization called “StartUp Effect” which teaches entrepreneurship in middle schools in New Orleans and Detroit.