This post originally appeared on the Nexus Louisiana Tech Park blog.
Startup founders can choose from more than 3,000 accelerator programs worldwide, including over 1,000 in the U.S. alone. Some of these educational programs can be harder to get into than Harvard. The competition is understandable because accelerators can provide a crucial boost as a business takes off. They’ve helped entrepreneurs build billion-dollar tech companies like Airbnb, Coinbase and Instacart.
People from the Pelican State curious about accelerator programs have a superb option right in their own backyard. Nexus Louisiana and LSU partnered to create the Ignition accelerator, which helps entrepreneurs across the state discover whether their idea has the potential to be the next big thing.
“We want entrepreneurs, dreamers, risk-takers and anyone who has a business idea to participate in Ignition,” says Nexus Louisiana President and CEO Genevieve Silverman. “Building a better future for entrepreneurs in Louisiana starts with helping them find the right ideas and grow them into sustainable businesses.”
Ignition participants will receive the same training LSU professors do when they want to turn their research into viable businesses. “I’ve started a business and it’s tough,” says Andrew Maas, the LSU Office of Innovation and Technology Commercialization director. Maas will lead the technical training and provide startup expertise during the weekly sessions. He understands that companies, like children, often benefit when people are supportive but straightforward: “Going through a process where someone will be a champion for you, but also be as critical as possible to challenge the assumptions you’ve made, is very helpful to entrepreneurs.”