The Booster

Julia Stewart

Job:Program director, Propeller
Reps:New Orleans, LA
Julia Stewart

Green cred: After Hurricane Katrina, startups started popping up in New Orleans, many of them angling to help rebuild the city. Startup accelerator Propeller was founded to help these companies tackle New Orleans’ biggest challenges — food security, water management, health care, and educational equity — and remain financially sustainable. As the program director, Stewart makes sure companies stay on track and keeps the startup scene sizzling.

What to expect in 2016: A revamped, 16-week growth track program for Propeller’s startups. Stewart’s also developing a strategy around coastal restoration and water management, which means working with companies that reduce urban flooding, test water quality, and rebuild the coastline.

A couple of Propeller companies to keep an eye on: Coastal Rewards, a credit card rewards program that contributes to funding coastal restoration projects, and Greenman Dan Inc., a firm that builds underground rainwater harvesting systems.

Losing ground: Louisiana is losing the equivalent of a football field of wetlands every hour and is on track to be mostly underwater by 2100 — which is why coastal restoration is a top priority for Stewart. “This has to be the most important issue,” she says. “If we don’t address it, there’s no state left.”

Beats by J: Stewart’s alter ego? An electronic/Caribbean/R&B DJ.