Louisiana’s Digital Interactive Media Incentives have really picked up the pace in the last two years. New projects & companies like Electronic Arts’ $30 Million facility, Gameloft’s New Orleans studio, Globalstar’s move to the north shore, the success of programs like LaunchPad Ignition, and the growth of companies like Calliope Digital, Touch Studios, PollBob, and Kinio all have the digital media tax credits to thank.
This success and growth has landed three Louisiana cities on Southern Business and Development Magazine‘s Top 10 List: New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Lafayette all made the cut.
From the article:
Baton Rouge, La.
As the long-term benefits of fostering the digital media industry become apparent, more communities are beginning to jump into the fray. In Louisiana, it is more than one city or region, it’s the whole state. Through a focus on talent development, competitive incentives, and aggressive recruitment efforts, Louisiana, and especially the Interstate 10/Interstate 12 corridor (i.e., the Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and New Orleans regions), has impressively jumped on most digital media companies’ radar screens.
The I-10/I-12 corridor has made large-scale infrastructure improvements with the addition of the Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise (LITE) Center in Lafayette and the creation of the Arts, Visualization, Advanced Technologies, and Research (AVATAR) program at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. These additions, in turn, have led to companies like EA, Firebrand Games, Pixel Magic, and TurboSquid making the corridor a true digital media hotspot.
New Orleans, La.
Greater New Orleans is experiencing a transformation. Thanks to an influx of new talent and attractive tax incentives, the digital media industry has played an integral role in this economic renaissance. Just last year, The Receivables Exchange — an online marketplace for accounts receivables — expanded its operations.
During the same time, Graphite — a full service brand strategy and design agency, Orphmedia — a web design and online marketing firm, and Jackson Square Group — a market research technology holding company — all established offices in the city. Tax credits, which can refund 25% of qualified in-state expenditures and 35% of project payroll for Louisiana residents, have compelled companies to locate and expand in New Orleans; however, the region has always been an attractive destination for creative innovators and artists.
Business and community leaders in Lafayette, La. have a fundamental appreciation of the vital role of technology in Lafayette’s success. Along with statewide tax credits for digital media production, Lafayette has a variety of community-wide initiatives that have fostered the development of technology-intensive businesses in the region.
Not only is Lafayette home to a state-of-the-art, publically accessible super-computing and visualization venue (Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise- LITE), Lafayette is home to one of the nation’s largest municipally-owned Fiber-to-the-Premises networks which offers 100 Mbps symmetrical Internet access at extremely reasonable prices.
Community collaborators, led by the Lafayette Economic Development Authority, recently launched the Opportunity Machine (OM), a business accelerator and incubator that leverages all of the region’s technology assets in one place for start-ups and existing firms. OM member, FiberCorps, is spearheading the initiative to make Lafayette a community of the future through the development of next generation applications for the Internet. Responding to the community’s historic focus on digital media led by the University of Louisiana and the more recent Blue Ocean initiative led by Louisiana Economic Development, Lafayette stands poised to create a stronger, more diverse technology-driven economy.
You can view the entire list here. Keep up the good work!