Today, the Biomedical Research Foundation (BRF) presented its report card on a very successful first year of its Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program (EAP).
The EAP was started a year ago with funding from the Caddo Parish Commission and City of Shreveport. The program is designed to boost economic development and create jobs in Shreveport-Bossier and north Louisiana. Ideas and products are initially analyzed to determine whether they are viable. EAP works with the entrepreneur to prepare them for a meeting with dozens of potential investors who make up the New Louisiana Angel Fund (NLAF) 1. It’s up to the NLAF 1 investors to decide whether to fund the project. EAP then works with the entrepreneur to help prepare the product for market.
Since its inception in July 2014, more than 170 entrepreneurs have applied to take advantage of EAP services. Seven of these have advanced through a rigorous process to receive funding from the New Louisiana Angel Fund 1. The 7 companies are Embera NeuroTherapeutics, Swaybox Studios, Mainspree, Innolyzer, Lagniappe Labs, Scada Access and Highly Favored Creations. The products these companies are developing range from pharmaceutical drug combinations to combat various forms of addiction to a new puppet technology. EAP Executive Director Dave Smith noted, “These companies have already created 27 jobs in Shreveport-Bossier and north Louisiana and they have also received over $10 million in additional capital from such markets as San Francisco, Austin, Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Baton Rouge to continue their growth.”
The EAP is continually looking for potential business opportunities. An entrepreneur must agree to move their operations to Shreveport-Bossier/north Louisiana if they are accepted into the program. Interested applicants can apply at EAPLA.com
In addition to offering services to entrepreneurs, the EAP offers business coaching and networking opportunities to help grow the Shreveport/Bossier and north Louisiana entrepreneurial ecosystem. For example, the EAP is currently partnering with the University of Texas IC2 in all facets of entrepreneurial activities and develop a road map for activities moving forward. Also, EAP started a unique internship program, pairing college students from north Louisiana education institutions with EAP entrepreneurs. The program allows them to participate in the development of an idea or product. This year, 5 college students took part in the internship program.