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Ecosystem Asset Mapping documents capital and resource providers that specialize in helping entrepreneurs, innovators and technology-driven companies. The initiative is an on-going project which will continue to improve innovation ecosystem visibility and access.
The BREW Initiative brings together a group of event organizers to improve content, infrastructure and promotion to increase attendance at the annual event. This initiative emphasizes pre-planning and leverages year-round activities and relationships to increase attendance.
The Alliance for Regional Collaboration (ARC) is a select group of organizations who work together to drive regional initiatives that convene, connect and strengthen the innovation system and sectors that grow and diversify the Baton Rouge area economy. These types of alliances are common drivers of successful initiatives in regions around the country and countries around the world. The alliance will also improve our ability to compete for new sources of public and private grant funding.
The National Fundraising Initiative will leverage regional relationships to pursue funding from new sources to support regional initiatives that benefit the innovation and entrepreneurship community.
The Investment Readiness Program assists high potential companies that have previously sought seed or angel capital. We leverage feedback from previous attempts to tailor a plan to prepare a complete and compelling case to investors in short order. Investment Readiness is key to improving the quality of regional deal flow which will attract more capital from inside and outside of Louisiana.
Founded by RPC in 2014, Innovation Catalyst (ICI) is a nonprofit venture development organization that provides seed capital to early stage companies located in Louisiana. NexusLA focuses on connecting investment seeking companies to Innovation Catalyst for evaluation.
In the fall of 2015, we helped organize a group of Baton Rouge angel investors to join the NO/LA Angel Network. This enabled the Baton Rouge group to begin investing in early stage companies almost immediately. This also provides access to more investment-ready opportunities.
Launched in 2014, the Louisiana State University Re-LIFT program provides grants to help LSU faculty secure seed funding for high-potential innovations. 60% of Re-LIFT awardees are successful in receiving seed funding. On average, every $1 awarded by Re-LIFT has generated $5 in seed funding.
The BizTech Challenge is an annual pitch competition for students from Louisiana's Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) held in conjunction with the iconic Bayou Classic football game at the New Orleans Superdome. The pitch competition demonstrates students' solutions to business, technical or social challenges issued to all six HBCU campuses in Louisiana. In our 2016 challenge, 68 students grouped in 19 teams competed for cash and prizes totaling more than $38,000. The $10,000 grand prize was awarded to the winning team in front of 68,000 football fans just prior to the Bayou Classic football game between Southern University and Grambling State University.
Youth Technology Workshops teach software and digital technology skills to a diverse group of kids and young adults. The goal is to expose young people to the importance and application of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and spark their interest in pursuing careers in technology.
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