Sunday, June 23, 2024

Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program reaches new milestone

by BIZ. Staff

BRF’s Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program (EAP) has completed a milestone of screening 500 entrepreneurs and their ideas. 

During a screen, the EAP team of financial analysts sits down with an entrepreneur looking to develop or advance his or her business locally. The EAP team analyzes the viability of the idea or product, matches the entrepreneur with informed investors and nurtures them through the critical steps toward market.

“To be able to screen over 500 ideas in north Louisiana really shows that there is a lot of innovation going on out there and there are a lot of entrepreneurs who have great ideas that would love to start their business in North Louisiana,” said Dave Smith, EAP executive director.

Smith said this milestone is important because more than half of all people who work in Louisiana are employed by a small business.  He said those small businesses are started by entrepreneurs who have great ideas and who want to produce a product or provide a service. EAP’s specialty is high-growth, scalable business.

The startups that have used EAP services are regionally and nationally known companies, from beer brewing and entertainment media production to financial index technology and biomedical products.

EAP was created four years ago as a public-private partnership with the City of Shreveport and Caddo Parish Commission to diversify the regional economy, grows jobs and expand the area’s tax base by providing services to innovative startups that have high-growth potential. 

By the numbers:

  • 500 screens
  • 207 startups received EAP services
  • $54-plus million in capital raised (loans-investors-grants)
  • 24 startups represented on the EAP Wall of Entrepreneurial Achievement
  • 123 full time jobs created

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