Sunday, July 21, 2024

Local entrepreneurial event brings over 150 entrepreneurs and startup businesses to north Louisiana

by BIZ. Staff

Tech to Market, the collaborative event of the North Louisiana Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program (NorLEAP) and Louisiana New Product Development Team (LA NPDT), brought in over 150 entrepreneurs and startup businesses looking to discuss and learn about the latest trends in technology commercialization and product licensing. The sold-out event was held on Thursday evening, Feb. 21, at the Remington Suite Hotel & Spa.

The event featured keynote speaker Stephen Key, who shared his experience of success and failure as a serial inventor, and how to master the skill of enjoying the entrepreneur’s life to the fullest.

“The people here are inventive and amazing,” said Key. “The environment is ripe for business innovation and I am happy to assist in licensing ideas. There has never been a better time to pursue a product idea, and licensing is one of the best forms of protection, because it’s all about speed to market and finding the right partner. I’m appreciative of the opportunity to share my 10-step strategy with this community.”

Key is a product licensing guru, serial inventor (including Michael Jordan’s WallBall, the Spinformation rotating label, and HotPicks guitar picks), a co-founder of the product licensing school Invent Right, and an author of several entrepreneurial bestsellers, including “One Simple Idea: Turn Your Dreams into a Licensing Goldmine While Letting Others Do the Work.” He is also a frequent contributor to such magazines as Forbes, Entrepreneur and Inc.  

Other speakers included Dr. Konstantin Dolgan, co-founder of LA NPDT, Dr. Alana Gray, co-founder of Oleolive and Segue Science Management, Dave Smith, Executive Director of BRF’s Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program (EAP), Dr. Davy Norris, Chief of Innovation at Louisiana Tech University, Keith Hanson, Chief Technology Officer for the City of Shreveport, Chris Sater, owner of Vertex, and Jessica Schiele, Executive Director of Cohab.

Smith spoke on the importance of product licensing in EAP/NorLEAP’s experience, and Dr. Dolgan spoke about how to go about licensing a product.

“Not only is NorLEAP helping startups in North Louisiana launch their businesses, but through exciting educational events like Tech to Market, we’re showing local entrepreneurs how they can turn their products and ideas into reality through licensing,” said Smith.

BRF, the innovation hub for North Louisiana, has expanded EAP’s entrepreneurial services across North Louisiana through NorLEAP, helping entrepreneurs grow ideas into businesses by providing them with expertise, mentorship and key connections needed to fuel their success.

LA NPDT is a product design, development, and marketing company that believes in enabling and growing businesses through product innovation. The team works with inventors, startups, and industrial companies on developing and launching new products. Its services include developing CAD models and PCB circuits, building prototypes, optimizing product designs for manufacturing, creating marketing materials (packaging, websites, animations, renderings), and more.

To apply for NorLEAP services, visit

For more information on LA NPDT, visit

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