Two men who have made it their mission to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem in north Louisiana have been named to Silicon Bayou’s Top 100 list.
The list highlights the most influential men and women in Louisiana’s tech and entrepreneurial sectors.
BRF President and CEO John F. George, Jr., M.D., and Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program (EAP) Executive Director Dave Smith have been named to the list for a third year in a row.
Dr. John George joined BRF in 2013 and expanded the organization to include several initiatives aimed at economic development, including EAP. He modeled his vision for EAP after the University of Texas at Austin IC2 Institute, one of the premier entrepreneurial think-tanks in the country. EAP is a public/private partnership between local government and the BRF to diversify the regional economy, create jobs and expand the area’s tax base by providing services to startups with high growth potential.
Dr. George hired Dave Smith, who has more than three decades of extensive experience in government contracts and initiatives, university technology transfer and early stage technology development, to lead EAP. Since its inception, EAP consistently outperformed its annual goals for the number of companies screened, jobs created and local investment. Startup businesses helped by EAP services include media/entertainment, medical, tech and lifestyle companies, among others.
To date, EAP has screened more than 500 startups and business ideas. Its portfolio companies have received $54 million in grants, bank loans and investments. EAP startups have created more than 130 jobs.
BRF’s other initiatives aimed at economic development are University Health System, the InterTech Science Park, the Office for Research Development and Administration (ORDA), the Digital Media Institute at InterTech (DMII), EdVentures and Future State/EMR Everywhere.