MasteryPrep Acquisition by Achieve Partners Marks a Milestone for the Louisiana Startup Ecosystem

MasteryPrep Founder Craig Gehring

Baton Rouge-Based Startup Acquired by National Private Equity Firm 

(Baton Rouge, La., November 11, 2022) — Nexus Louisiana Tech Park member MasteryPrep, which provides test-prep and college-readiness resources for historically underserved schools, is being acquired by private equity firm Achieve Partners. The acquisition of the Baton Rouge startup will spur the reinvestment of capital into the Louisiana startup ecosystem. 

“You have one acquisition, one company that is successful and spreads out the wealth. Those people either create other companies or invest that wealth in other companies because this one was successful,” said Stephen Loy, executive director of Tech Park.

“This demonstrates the importance of angel investing as part of an investor’s asset allocation. MasteryPrep was the Red Stick Angel Network’s first-ever investment back in January 2020, and now, merely three years later, the network’s first exit — and those investors are getting a substantial return,” said Bill Ellison, CEO at Innovation Catalyst and CEO and director of Red Stick Angel Network, both of which fall under the Nexus Louisiana umbrella. Innovation Catalyst and Red Stick Angel Network invested in MasteryPrep at its seed and growth stages, respectively.

MasteryPrep founder and CEO Craig Gehring has been embedded in the Louisiana startup ecosystem since the company’s inception, joining the Tech Park with only one employee. Gehring, a Baton Rouge High graduate, has been named Young Entrepreneur of the Year and recognized as one of the top 40 Under 40 Business Leaders by Baton Rouge Business Report. MasteryPrep’s acquisition supports increased capital within the local startup scene, while Gehring provides coaching and connections to fellow entrepreneurs as an anchor member of the Tech Park.

“We’re excited to be working with Achieve Partners to continue growing the MasteryPrep brand and helping students achieve their educational goals,” Gehring said. “And I don’t see how MasteryPrep could be anywhere near where it is without the Tech Park and NexusLA’s help.” 

Gehring will remain CEO at MasteryPrep, which will continue to be based in Baton Rouge.

“MasteryPrep is a Louisiana business, born and bred, and the Tech Park in Baton Rouge will remain our base of operations, even as we continue to grow,” Gehring said.

About NexusLA

Nexus Louisiana’s mission is to accelerate the growth of high-potential companies by providing them with coaching, capital and connections. Our programs leverage regional collaboration to foster mentorship, investment and opportunity for local entrepreneurs to grow their ideas and transform the technology industry in Louisiana. For more information, please visit

About MasteryPrep

MasteryPrep provides mastery-based college readiness services and resources preparing students for the SAT, ACT, TSIA-2, EOC and WorkKeys tests. MasteryPrep is the nationally preferred SAT and ACT prep provider of the Council for Opportunity in Education and is licensed by ACT to include official ACT test questions in its programs. MasteryPrep partners with schools and districts to help level the standardized assessment playing field. MasteryPrep has ranked among the Inc. 5000 “Fastest Growing Companies” for six years and is a featured “Entrepreneur 360” company. For more information, please visit

About Innovation Catalyst and Red Stick Angels

Innovation Catalyst was created by Nexus Louisiana in 2012 as a separate 501(c)3 nonprofit venture development company investing seed capital in Louisiana ventures. Innovation Catalyst collaborates with existing resources throughout the state to identify, engage, educate and connect Louisiana entrepreneurs to the right resources to accelerate their business. The Red Stick Angel Network is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Innovation Catalyst. Its members are accredited investors, or “Angels,” located in the greater Baton Rouge area.

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