A Baton Rouge-based venture development organization, Innovation Catalyst (formerly Step One Ventures) has just received $1.5 million from Research Park Corporation (RPC). The company will be funding seed and early-stage investments in high potential startups in Louisiana through its Catalyst Fund.
Innovation Catalyst is a nonprofit created by community leaders to strengthen and broaden Louisiana’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and to drive new, high-potential company formation.
“We’re grateful to RPC for its continued support of our mission to identify, engage, educate and fund high potential Louisiana startups. Catalyst Fund investments, along with the guidance of Innovation Catalyst staff and its partner network, will more quickly and effectively accelerate companies from the prototyping phase to beta to launch and ultimately success,” said Innovation Catalyst’s CEO Jeanne Bayless.
The Fund plans to support up to four companies per year with investments between $50,000 and $250,000. According to the Louisiana Technology Park, all returns from Catalyst Fund investments will be returned to the Fund to seed subsequent investments.
“Funding Innovation Catalyst’s Catalyst Fund is the next step in fulfilling the RPC’s mission of driving economic development in Louisiana through driving the development of the technology sector in our great state, and supporting the research and entrepreneurs that are at the epicenter of that effort,” said RPC Chairman Terrell Brown. “The Fund’s investments will provide much needed cash infusions that will support Louisiana’s innovative entrepreneurs and the companies that will ultimately create new jobs and prosperity in Louisiana.”