Monday, May 20, 2024

EAP announces 10 new startup companies added to the Wall of Entrepreneurial Achievement

by BIZ Magazine

BRF’s Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program (EAP) announces the addition of 10 new startup companies  to its Wall of Entrepreneurial Achievement, a milestone for portfolio companies that have successfully  launched or are in the process of launching in Caddo Parish and North Louisiana.  

There are now 44 startups on the wall in BRF’s headquarters, InterTech 1, near downtown Shreveport.  

The 2020 class of startups marks EAP’s sixth year in operation and the end of year two of its NorLEAP  program, which provides EAP services across 21 parishes, including Caddo, in North Louisiana. The  expanded program is funded by BRF and the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). EAP was  launched in 2014 as a partnership among BRF, the City of Shreveport and the Caddo Parish Commission  to provide resources to entrepreneurs, equipping them to take their ideas from concept to the  marketplace.  

In six years, EAP has vetted over 1,060 ideas and aided in funding 93 of them, helping to bring $103  million in new capital to the area. According to a recent economic study by economist Dr. Loren Scott, in  2018-19 EAP portfolio companies generated in the Shreveport Bossier four-parish metropolitan  statistical area (MSA) over $36 million in business sales, over $27.6 million in household earnings, an  average of 292 jobs a year for MSA citizens and over $1.2 million in additional tax and fee collections for  local governments in the MSA.  

Viable companies benefit from EAP’s range of startup services, which include modeling, financial and  market analysis and other coaching. BRF-managed New Louisiana Angel Funds 1 and 2 are offered  opportunity to invest in some EAP startups, providing local certified angel investors opportunity to fund  North Louisiana-based companies and support local entrepreneurs and innovation.  

“This year’s companies, ranging from tech to life sciences and the food and hospitality industry, are to  be congratulated for not only launching but also for navigating the challenges posed by COVID-19 on  individuals and businesses,” said Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards. “This has been a challenging time for  small businesses and large corporations alike. We are encouraged by the resiliency of our entrepreneurs  and the state and local partners who have stepped up to assist them in a tumultuous time. We  congratulate these entrepreneurs and look forward to their success and growth in North Louisiana.” 

EAP Executive Director Dave Smith and the EAP team of financial analysts coached companies through  small business aid and helped rework business models to continue to meet customer needs in new  ways.  

“North Louisiana entrepreneurs were truly innovative as they met the challenges head on that this year  has brought. I thank the EAP team and our portfolio companies for their perseverance. We celebrate  and recognize them for their hard work,” said Smith. 

To recognize the new companies, BRF and EAP typically host an unveiling event at InterTech 1, but in person events have been limited due to COVID-19.  

“We won’t be together in person this year, but I want to still take the opportunity to congratulate our  new local companies and thank them for their hard work and contribution to the region’s economy,  especially in this time of recovery from the effects of the pandemic,” said Shreveport Mayor Adrian  Perkins.  

EAP will continue expanding its resources for entrepreneurs in an effort to stimulate growth and help  North Louisiana recover in the post-COVID economy. 

EAP Wall of Entrepreneurial Achievement class of 2020:  

Bishop – Custom 3D printed knee braces Dr. Eric Rippetoe, DDT, Founder and CEO 

Streetcar Snoballs – Authentic New Orleans-style snoball food trailer Erica Gilliam, Founder and CEO A NorLEAP company 

Louisiana Catalyst – Shared workspace and business incubator program serving North Louisiana Quentin Durr, Co-Founder; Joshua Mitchell, Executive Director/Co-Founder; Richard Royal, Treasurer A NorLEAP company 

Scriptagram – Patient training software for orthodontists and dental providers Stephen Gillum, CEO; Dr. Chris Cosse, Founder and President 

Dealer Dominators – Virtual car buying advisors 

Zach Parnell, Co-Founder; Lovick Wren, Co-Founder 

2BGreen – Plastic recycling facility Paul Grillo, CPA, COO; Eddie Lewis, VP of Manufacturing and Operations 

Ben’s Body Basics – Natural skincare products Ben Whalen, Founder and CEO 

Two Warriors Meadery – Louisiana’s first mead (honey-wine) producer Curtis Sims, Co-Founder; Cameron Myers, Co-Founder A NorLEAP company 

STREAM Aquaponics – Hydroponic and aquaculture systems for education institutions Marci Howard, Founder/CEO; Jenn Tuxen, Director of Education; and Ty Dick, Research and Engineering  Specialist  

Farmington Research– Cannabis technology company Cameron Meshell, Co-Founder and President

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