Five Finalists Advance in Louisiana Startup Prize

The Louisiana Startup Prize, headquartered in Shreveport, has announced the five finalists for the entrepreneurial competition’s second year.

Gregory Kallenberg, executive director of the Startup Prize, again teamed with John Grindley from Cohab Shreveport to announce the competition that will help develop better entrepreneurs, connect them with investors and help create an entrepreneurial culture in northwest Louisiana.

Photo by Henrietta Wildsmith|The Times.

Photo by Henrietta Wildsmith|The Times.

The finalists were selected from more than 80 applicants, all vying for the $25,000 total prize.

“This was a banner year for the Startup Prize,” said Kallenberg.  “The startups and participating entrepreneurs are incredible, and they brought an energy to the Startup Prize that was amazing.”

Nearly half of the applicants were from outside of the Shreveport area, ranging from as close as New Orleans to even Los Angeles and Cairo. The Shreveport Times reports that 38 percent of the startups are run by women entrepreneurs and 31 percent are minority business owners.

The winner will be announced on September 13 following pitches on September 11 and 12.

The startups moving on to the final round are:

Beau Vodka – Dallas

The company offers an ultra-premium vodka in the shape of Louisiana’s fleur de lis. The entrepreneur also started a company in Texas to distribute a tequila bottle in the shape of the state.

Innolyzer Labs, LLC – Shreveport

The company wants to launch the first “lab-on-a-chip” product for Hydrogen sulfide detection, a signaling molecule vital in human health and disease. Its LOAC device, about the size of a cigarette, will detect the molecule in liquids. It is designed to be used as a medical or general analytical device.

Nanopore Diagnostics, LLC – St. Louis

For the medical community, Nanopore Diagnostics offers a technology platform, the iNDxer, designed to rapidly test patients with infections to determine exactly what kind of infection is present in a patient sample. The diagnostic test aims to reduce antibiotic misuse.

RNvention – Lafayette

Another startup with offerings to the medical community, RNvention seeks to “make bedside healthcare better” by creating medical products designed by frontline medical workers. The first product from RNvention is the Nix Tool, a multi-purpose instrument for hospital nurses. The tool combines several medical instruments in one.

Tri-D Dynamics – Los Angeles

The startup Tri-Dynamics has no small feat ahead. The two team members want to knock out the inhibitor to commercializing outer-space – the high cost of launch systems. As students the duo designed, printed and tested a metal 3D printed rocket engine. Tri-D Dynamics wants to design and create high-performance rocket engines that are cost efficient, quicker to produce, and lower in weight than any on the market using 3D printing.