New Orleans: A Startup Laboratory

Entrepreneurs are finding fertile ground for new ventures they think will help bring the devastated city back to life

In a fifth-floor penthouse office in the central business district, developers craft an online trading system to let companies sell their accounts receivable at a discount for cash. A few blocks away, a programmer builds a tool to send patients' medical data to doctors' smart phones in real time. On the other side of town, workers assemble a sleek modular home from aluminum framing and interlocking panels—no nails or screws required. At the end of the day, they might all head for a hip new nightclub near the waterfront.

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