Startup Resources in Louisiana: Opportunities for Growth

Whether you’re a growing startup or looking to expand an existing business, Nexus Louisiana has curated valuable startup resources in Louisiana to support you on your entrepreneurial journey. 

From funding opportunities and mentorship programs to business development tools and networking events, this roundup of local startup resources will help Louisiana entrepreneurs and small-business owners find the coaching, capital, connections and other resources they need to thrive. 

Learn more about available resources that can unlock your entrepreneurial potential in the vibrant state of Louisiana.

Nexus Louisiana

NexusLA provides coaching, capital and connections to entrepreneurs at all stages of business growth. NexusLA is proud to connect entrepreneurs with opportunities to help propel their businesses forward. Most of all, NexusLA is thrilled to be building a community of entrepreneurs right here in Louisiana by connecting founders and small business owners across the state.

Discover a few of our resources to help fuel your growth.

Nexus Louisiana Tech Park

NexusLA Tech Park is a hub dedicated to helping tech startups enter the market with the resources they need to succeed. As a member, you gain access to a team of experts who are devoted to aiding your journey as well as office space that facilitates networking and collaboration with other high-tech startups. This encourages a synergistic effect, allowing members to make the most of their product and service development.

Ignition Accelerator Program

NexusLA’s Ignition program is an eight-week course designed to help entrepreneurs evaluate their business ideas and develop the tools they need to seek outside investment. This series provides peer learning and mentorship opportunities, as well as meetings with subject matter experts.

Ignition takes place in two parts. The first eight-week program, hosted in the fall, focuses on developing a sustainable business model. The second session, which takes place in the spring, focuses on creating a high-impact pitch deck to help you secure funding and scale up.

By the end of each program, you’ll have the knowledge and tools necessary to take the next steps in growing your company.

Venture Capital Apprenticeship Program

NexusLA’s Venture Capital Apprenticeship Program (VCAP) lets students gain access to real, practical opportunities to apply their finance and business skills — and in the process helps growing businesses accomplish short-term projects. 

Through a partnership with LSU’s Department of Finance, NexusLA, and its affiliates Innovation Catalyst and the Red Stick Angels, you can open your small business to students in investment and finance classes. The students help host companies move projects forward while learning the ins and outs of managing and growing a small business.

BizTech Challenge

The BizTech Challenge is a comprehensive, hands-on learning and mentorship program designed to increase innovation and entrepreneurship in STEM-based fields among students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The program aims to build an innovation ecosystem between university administrators, faculty and students. At the end of the program, participants pitch their product ideas for the chance of winning a cash prize.

By participating in the BizTech Challenge, entrepreneurs gain access to valuable resources, mentorship, and guidance from industry experts, university administrators, faculty and fellow students. This collaborative environment helps them refine their product ideas, develop their business strategies and gain a deeper understanding of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

PitchBR

PitchBR is NexusLA’s quarterly pitch competition. The program gives early-stage entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their business in front of a live audience and panel of judges — with one participant taking home a cash prize of $1,000.

By participating in PitchBR, entrepreneurs have the chance to practice and improve their presentation skills, refine their business pitch and receive constructive feedback from industry experts and potential investors.

Louisiana Economic Development

Louisiana Economic Development (LED) acts as a connector, linking small businesses and entrepreneurs to local, state and federal resource providers. By leveraging these connections, LED creates a robust ecosystem that supports small businesses at every stage of their development journey.

Here are some of the programs LED offers to aid small businesses in their growth.

CEO Roundtables

LED’s CEO Roundtables sessions bring together a group of key decision makers from small businesses to engage in collaborative and growth-oriented discussions. At the roundtables, CEOs can discuss business and personal matters in a safe setting, under the guidance of an experienced facilitator.

Attending the CEO Roundtables offers many advantages to entrepreneurs. Through engaging conversations, collaboration and the exchange of successes and missteps, entrepreneurs can gain valuable knowledge from each other’s point of view.

Attending the CEO Roundtables links entrepreneurs to different small business support systems, which can be very helpful in tackling obstacles, examining possibilities for development and broadening their connections.

Diversity in Entrepreneurship Initiative

LED’s Diversity in Entrepreneurship Initiative, in collaboration with the Edward Lowe Foundation, is designed to support the growth of minority- and woman-owned businesses in Louisiana. This program aims to address the unique challenges founders from underrepresented groups face and help them accelerate their business growth.

The program begins with a virtual retreat workshop that lets individuals focus on their business growth plans. This workshop is a great way for entrepreneurs to gain knowledge and refine their strategies, as well as examine their strengths and weaknesses to set goals.

Program participants will learn how scaling affects their companies and communities. They will hone their business strategies and ensure they have all the necessary tools to successfully implement their expansion plans.

Mentor-Protégé Recognition Program

LED’s Mentor-Protégé Recognition Program in Louisiana connects small and emerging businesses with mentor companies that provide technical and developmental assistance. The program aims to enhance the capacity of protégé businesses, enabling them to compete successfully for public and private sector opportunities. By fostering a more diverse business environment, the program contributes to the state’s economy and job creation.

Mentors, with their extensive experience and expertise, provide invaluable guidance and support to protégés. This assistance offers protégés insight into how to build sustainable and profitable businesses while also increasing their business knowledge, performance and competitiveness. By having access to these mentors, protégés are able to avoid making common mistakes that can put the success of their business at risk.

Louisiana Business Hub

Sponsored by Louisiana Economic Development and in partnership with a large network of nonprofit service providers, the Louisiana Business Hub rounds up resources available in different parts of the state.

OneSource

OneSource is a comprehensive, free resource directory for entrepreneurs in the Capital Region. Additionally, you can search for resource providers and find information, events and guides tailored to fit your business needs. Whether you’re starting a business or looking to grow one, OneSource has the resources and links to make it happen.

Launch Network

Launch Network serves North Louisiana entrepreneurs and small businesses. The network connects users with local resources, free growth and funding guides, and a calendar of local events where founders can learn and network.

Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office

The Secretary of State’s Office offers its geauxBIZ portal to help growing businesses navigate a range of complex legal requirements. 

geauxBIZ Portal

The Louisiana geauxBIZ portal, a collaboration between the Louisiana Secretary of State, Louisiana Department of Revenue and Louisiana Workforce Commission, offers entrepreneurs a convenient and centralized platform to manage their business filings and tax account registrations. This portal, known as geauxBIZ, provides a range of resources to assist entrepreneurs in planning, making financial decisions and completing legal activities necessary to start their businesses.

geauxBIZ is a portal that enables entrepreneurs to find resources to help them create a business. It provides advice on fiscal considerations and information on necessary legal documents. Furthermore, the platform lets entrepreneurs build and maintain a collection of licenses and permits that are essential to their company. The geauxBIZ portal allows users to secure their business title and complete the paperwork to officially form their venture.

Additional State and Local Resources

Growing businesses have access to a variety of other resources in Baton Rouge and across the state. Here are some of these programs and the benefits they can offer.

Baton Rouge Area Chamber

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) offers a range of dedicated services to support small businesses in the region, connecting you to valuable resources, information and networks to foster your growth. BRAC’s Small Business Services programs cover everything from business planning to refining operations. These programs aim to empower entrepreneurs and small-business owners in the Baton Rouge area, providing them with the tools and support they need to thrive and succeed.

The Louisiana Small Business Development Center Network

Over the past 15 years, the Louisiana Small Business Development Center (LSBDC) network, housed in universities across the state, has helped establish and grow small businesses. One of the key services LSBDC provides is helping small businesses identify potential sources of startup and expansion capital. As a result of this support, LSBDC clients have been able to sell billions of dollars’ worth of Louisiana products globally, contributing to the state’s economic growth.

Find Success Through Startup Resources in Louisiana

Louisiana offers a wealth of startup resources and support systems for entrepreneurs and small-business owners. With these resources and support, you can find the right tools and guidance you need to thrive, contribute to the state’s economy and create a vibrant business environment.

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