LETTER FROM OUR CEO
When the Louisiana State Legislature created our organization in the early 1990s, our mission was to accelerate the growth of high-potential, technology-enabled companies while increasing employment and transforming the tech industry throughout Louisiana.
You may not immediately recognize the Nexus Louisiana name, but if you visited the Tech Park, dropped into a PitchBR night or joined us for BREW, you’re familiar with our work. In the past three years, we rebranded from the Research Park Corporation to Nexus Louisiana. We feel the new name better reflects our mission because the coaching, capital and connections we offer form a hub for local tech founders — a nexus for the Louisiana tech community.
Over the years, we’ve seen the immense impact of our programs on Louisiana’s innovative founders.
Our ongoing coaching, training and development programs have fostered an entire generation of new technology businesses. We’ve had the privilege of increasing access to capital and funding opportunities for local entrepreneurs regardless of their personal backgrounds or circumstances. And the connections we’ve formed over the years have only grown stronger, catapulting a number of our local founders to the national stage.
Nexus Louisiana is proud to show you what 30 years of coaching, capital and connections have done for our local founders and why we look forward to the next 30 years serving the Louisiana tech community.
– Genevieve Silverman
President & CEO
BY THE NUMBERS
30 years of growth
1992-2002 Laying the Foundation for Louisiana’s Tech Community
Nexus Louisiana was created in 1992 with a mission — to promote the development of high-tech industry and research in Louisiana. Leaders throughout the state recognized that the future economy needed to be tech-centric and diversified.
Louisiana entrepreneurs drove this change throughout the next decade, developing the companies that would shape the new economy, create high-paying jobs and solve the challenges of the future. To help build these companies, the Baton Rouge based Louisiana Technology Park facility opened in 2001.
2012 Unlocking the Potential of Louisiana Startups
Capital is the primary fuel for a growing entrepreneurial venture. The problem? Louisiana entrepreneurs have not had equal access to capital sources compared with similar markets across the country. Nexus Louisiana met this need by creating and connecting new capital entities and networks across Louisiana. Innovation Catalyst was created and spun off in 2012 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit venture development company investing seed capital in Louisiana ventures.
In January 2020, Nexus Louisiana helped launch the Red Stick Angel Network as a subsidiary of Innovation Catalyst. Nexus Louisiana also connects our clients to angel and venture entities across Louisiana as well as to state and federal incentive programs. This capital continuum helps build continuous cycles of entrepreneurial development and job creation.
2016-2018 Growing a Community of Innovative Entrepreneurs
Under the leadership of Nexus Louisiana, BREW has grown into the premier event for entrepreneurs in the Capital Region to grow together in a collaborative, intimate environment. The highlight of BREW is the High-Stakes Pitch Competition — awarding the winning startup $100,000 in funding from Innovation Catalyst and the Red Stick Angel Network. BREW gives Louisiana’s most promising startups a chance at an investment prize to invigorate and propel their businesses to success as we all look toward the future of entrepreneurship in the state.
The BizTech Challenge, launched by Nexus Louisiana in 2017, allows HBCU students to validate their business idea, build a real business and even win up to $10,000. PitchBR, a quarterly pitch series, was created in 2016 to provide a supportive environment for emerging companies to get feedback on their pitches before engaging the investment community
2020 Educating Louisiana’s Next Generation of Venture Capitalists
Nexus Louisiana wants to make the tech community more inclusive and give future entrepreneurs the skills they need to thrive. That’s why Nexus Louisiana partnered with LSU, Innovation Catalyst and the Red Stick Angel Network to form the Venture Capital Apprentice Program (VCAP) that helps business students gain real-world experience at local startups. VCAP aims to inspire, educate and develop students interested in investing in private companies or becoming entrepreneurs.
2021 Giving Louisiana Entrepreneurs a Boost
In 2021, Nexus Louisiana and LSU partnered to create the Ignition accelerator. This initiative helps entrepreneurs across the state discover if their ideas could become the next big thing. Ignition participants receive the same training LSU professors do when they turn their research into viable businesses.
LETTER FROM THE CHAIR
It’s been our privilege to serve the technology community in Louisiana for the last 30 years, and we are excited to maintain that momentum for the next 30 years.
To sustain that commitment, we’re constantly revising existing programs and adding new ones to bring nothing but the best to the table. As the startup community evolves, Nexus Louisiana’s programming will grow alongside it to continue providing the coaching, capital and connections the community has come to expect from our tech startup ecosystem.
We’re delighted for you to join us on this journey. Thank you for your continued support of our endeavors. Together, we can elevate local entrepreneurs and the technology community in Louisiana.
– Anita Tillman, Chair
CEO, AMcorp International LLC