Innovation lives in north Louisiana

Air Show Innovation Showcase highlights five local startups

The Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program (EAP), Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC), and the Air Force Reserve’s 307th Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base present the inaugural Air Show Innovation Showcase last month to highlight innovative companies in north Louisiana.

Held at BPCC May 14, the event featured five startups presenting their innovative ideas and businesses — Hilton Nicholson, CEO of CyberReef Solutions, discusses his company’s specialization in cloud-based operations; Asteri’s Steve Gray talked about the Shreveport-based company’s operations creating entertainment products; Dr. Alana Gray introduced Oleolive, which aims to produce oleocanthal for a multitude of clinical concepts; Brad Simon, founder of the the Red River Range, highlighted his indoor shooting and training venue in Shreveport; and lastly Bob Fortune of Perceptive Intelligence Tools discussed the cloud-based technology which can assist law enforcement in real-time, cross-jurisdictional intelligence sharing.

Dave Smith, the Executive Director of the EAP, said the event proved that you don’t have to leave Louisiana to launch a technology company.  

“It’s really important for us to team with institutions like Bossier Parish Community College and start early with these technology-driven students so that they realize ‘Hey, you can launch this company here in Shreveport-Bossier.’ And I tell them, ‘You can get the people you need here. Your money goes further here. You can get access to technology you need here. There are academic institutions here that are generating a workforce that you can put to work today.’”

CyberReef Solutions

A cloud-based service to deploy Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) for Internet of Things (IoT) communications on carrier wireless networks. Launched in 2012, CyberReef provides the first, patent-pending, cloud-based SaaS mobile data bandwidth management and secure private networking solution.

Nicholson noted that over 70 percent of mobile data traffic is non-business, CyberReef can grind down data consumption. He said their main client is business, but it has military applications with private networking for secure ground crew access, secure field access, and secure smart phone access

“The military has tons of assets, having that information remain private is key,” Nicholson said.

He added that their biggest challenge is an expansion of channels, which requires a lot of support. However, he added that the company has still doubled the amount of opportunities they have in only one year.

Asteri

A digital content creator and large-scale testing solution provider, Steve Gray, founder and CEO, noted that his company builds custom tools that integrate into any application for clients.

He said their operation is more of a process than a solution.

“We don’t know all the questions you have, we don’t know all the answers. In some ways that gives us an advantage, we don’t go into a situation assuming we know the answer.”

To that end, Asteri will create a telemetry and deploy it, observe thousands of people’s reactions, analyze, optimize and integrate until “all the bumpy parts are smoothed out.”

An example is to make web ads more efficient.

“We put telemetry on a website and we twist the knobs to find out how to make it more effective,” Gray explained.

Oleolive

Oleolive specializes in studying the applications of Oleocanthal, a polyphenol found in extra virgin olive oil that has been shown in studies to have strong therapeutic effects.

Dr. Alana Grey, COO and co-founder, noted that Oleolive has a patent-pending on extraction method from ULM and their research is focused on capabilities relating to Alzheimers and cancer. 

Hilton Nicholson. (Courtesy of DeAngelo Williams/BRF)

Also, companies purchase the Oleocanthal extract for cosmetics and beauty products, with Oleolive creating their own skin care product sold direct to consumers as an all-natural skin care regimen. 

Dr. Grey said the company is looking to expand its research beyond olive oil, with compound AU-9, which is engineered to treat dementia and could be used for Alzheimers. They have a patent optioned from Auburn University. 

She said her company is also looking at Lyophilized PRP – a platelet-rich plasma for treating wounds. The company is in exclusive license negations and seeking funding for use in military and trauma centers.

“Sometimes, the opportunity is too great and we see something that we’re capable of moving forward. Some of these things are presented to us and are connected to what we’re already doing,” Dr. Grey said.

Red River Range

A state-of-the-art indoor shooting and training facility in Shreveport featuring an innovative air ventilation system, programmable targetry systems, and a granulated rubber bullet containment system, Red River Range is a full service training facility — firearms, safety, emergency, event response, security guard training — and can be used by the military and law enforcement — offer a dynamic training environment such as a roadside scene, low visibility, night time settings, and more.

Brad Simon (Courtesy of DeAngelo Williams/BRF)

Brad Simon, founder, saw an opportunity to fill the need in northwest Louisiana to provide something to both the public and military/law enforcement. He sees Red River Range as able to both train and entertain.

However, he noted that safety is a priority and the company achieves that through the design of the facility. 

“Going into an old building and retrofitting wasn’t going to work,” Simon said.

The walls feature eight inches of steel-reinforced concrete to protect from fired rounds while also muffling sound outside the facility. They also offer range safety officers and provide 100 percent fresh air. 

Perceptive Intelligence

Software that shares real-time critical data across law enforcement jurisdictions, Perceptive Intelligence’s motto is “Every officer should know what other officers know.”

Bob Fortune, co-founder, said current systems are ineffective and inefficient with deployment designed for local agencies, and are designed with flaws as the reports-based model provides too much information.

His solution is the LENSS (law enforcement network sharing solution). The software can provide law enforcement officers a subject packet-based data model with only what officers need to know. This is achieved with a platform that creates a secure information network, providing for immediate collaboration between law enforcement officials by sending text notifications.

“It doesn’t matter what system you have installed with your agency. You can always go to the LENSS platform. It’s simple,” Fortune said.

He gave the example of an officer pulling over a suspect and LENSS can provide information that the suspect is a confirmed drug dealer with a photo of the suspect. It then gives contact info for the officer that put that information into the system to allow collaboration in real-time. 

“If I pull over a vehicle for speeding, I have no idea there is a fugitive in that car. Now it changes that officer’s perception of the situation,” Fortune explained.

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