This post originally appeared on the Nexus Louisiana blog.
Nexus Louisiana held a demo day on May 25 that signified the culmination of Ignition 2.0, a nine-week accelerator program designed to help aspiring entrepreneurs commercialize their technology. Ten emerging startups took center stage at the Main Library to pitch their innovations and connect with potential investors and business decision-makers.
The startups represented various industries, including maritime, speech pathology, and youth athletics. Team Factor, founded by Jennifer Macha-Hebert and Nely Ward, emerged as the winner and was awarded $10,000, funded by Innovation Catalyst, a Louisiana-based venture development organization.
“When we originally presented this idea, we expected to hear no, this won’t work,” said Team Factor Co-founder Jennifer Macha-Hebert. “But with the help of the Tech Park, a lot of doors have opened for us. We’ve worked with some wonderful mentors and met great friends along the way. We’re very grateful for this opportunity.”
Team Factor is a virtual platform that collects, stores, tracks, and analyzes health and wellness data and fitness activities for athletes and coaches. In 2021, Ward and Macha-Hebert participated in the Ignition 1.0 program, which helps companies across the state discover whether their idea has the potential to be the next big thing. They tied for first place, receiving a $5,000 investment prize at the inaugural demo day.
Ignition 2.0 is an in-person program designed to guide entrepreneurs through the commercialization process of building their companies. The ideal participants in Ignition 2.0 are technology-enabled companies who have moved past the idea and market confirmation stages of building their business and into product development.