Sunday, June 23, 2024

Continuing to Innovate Bossier

by Lisa Johnson

It’s really a mantra we have been preaching for years with our Bossier Innovates initiative. Now, the Bossier Chamber has partnered with some great organizations in our region to say Northwest Louisiana Innovates.

Northwest Louisiana is full of opportunities for innovators and entrepreneurs alike – from mentors, funding sources and a network of ideas, but this region might just be the best kept secret in innovation. That is where the idea for Innovation NWLA was born: Let’s not keep it a secret any longer!

This inaugural event is just the beginning for regional partners – the Bossier Chamber of Commerce, BRF, Cohab, EAP, Greater Bossier Economic Development Foundation, Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce, Louisiana Startup Prize, North Louisiana Economic Partnership, and the Young Professional Initiative – as the organizations take these opportunities a step further – showcasing just what Northwest Louisiana has to offer.

The Nov. 2 Innovation NWLA event was a day to celebrate innovation in the region but it was also a starting point for building the brand of innovation in the region and starting a framework for Innovation NWLA to become a regional showcase, perhaps even a week-long celebration, of all of our innovative programs, partners, individuals, students, businesses, colleges and universities at one time.

With the programming of Innovation NWLA, we celebrated high school students who are on the path for great STEM careers, highlighting nine Bossier Parish females who the community is encouraging to succeed through college scholarships. In the afternoon, we showed the region some of our most innovative companies – Sound Fighter Systems, Nicholas Goeders with LSU Health Shreveport, Tadpole Tape Cutter, Praeses, Cotton Street Farms, Twin Engine Labs and Cyber Reef Solutions – and asked the question: Why did you choose Shreveport-Bossier to launch your business? Tell us about all of the great opportunities and support you find in our region.

To close out the day, a closing reception was held for our innovators at CSRA Integrated Technology Center, one of the newest developments in the National Cyber Research Park. There, innovators and business leaders mingled to network, giving everyone a chance to develop personal connections among fellow entrepreneurs and innovators.

These partners have joined together to build our brand together and show everyone in our cities, parishes, region, state and the Ark-La-Tex what we can offer to the innovators of tomorrow!

Do you have an innovative idea or company? Let us know! We would love to connect with you and gain more support for Innovation NWLA 2018!

Lisa Johnson is president/CEO of the Bossier Chamber of Commerce.

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