Thursday, May 30, 2024

LED Grants $300,000 to Expand Health-Focused Start-Up Program in Northwest Louisiana

by BIZ Magazine

BATON ROUGE, LA. – Louisiana Economic Development (LED) is doubling down on its commitment to bolstering innovation and entrepreneurship in the state, particularly in the realm of healthcare and life sciences. In a move aimed at fostering economic development and attracting health-focused startups to Northwest Louisiana, LED has awarded a three-year grant totaling $300,000 to The Prize Foundation.

The grant will specifically support the expansion of the Prize Foundation’s annual Startup Prize: Focus on Health program. This initiative serves as a vital recruitment tool for health-related entrepreneurs, startups, and companies, drawing attention to the region’s burgeoning innovation ecosystem.

Secretary Susan B. Bourgeois of LED emphasized the importance of supporting healthcare and life science innovation, highlighting their role in driving business investment, job creation, and intellectual property development in Louisiana.

Unlike traditional pitch competitions, the Startup Prize offers more than just cash prizes. It provides a platform for entrepreneurs to connect with mentors, experts, and investors who can help nurture and grow early-stage health-related companies into sustainable businesses. All participants gain access to valuable networking opportunities and potential investors, irrespective of their performance in the competition.

The LED grant will not only support the expansion of the health-focused program but also provide matching funds to grants received from other key stakeholders in the region, including LSU Health Shreveport, the Greater Bossier Economic Development Fund, Phillips Kallenberg Investments, and the North Louisiana Economic Partnership.

Gregory Kallenberg, founder of Startup Prize, expressed his pride in collaborating with LED, emphasizing the program’s potential to attract health-focused startups to Louisiana.

Rocky Rockett, executive director of the Greater Bossier Economic Development Foundation, echoed this sentiment, highlighting the positive impact of the Prize Foundation in the region and its potential for growth with LED’s support.

Shreveport Mayor Tom Arceneaux commended the Startup Prize program for fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, recognizing its role in driving economic growth in the city and the state.

Justyn Dixon, CEO of the North Louisiana Economic Partnership, praised the Prize Foundation for its efforts in growing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Northwest Louisiana, noting the grant’s potential to further amplify its impact.

The grant from LED underscores the state’s commitment to fostering innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic growth, positioning Louisiana as a national leader in scientific exploration and collaboration.

About LED:
Louisiana Economic Development is dedicated to strengthening the state’s business environment and fostering economic growth. LED’s initiatives attract capital investment, create jobs, and cultivate opportunities for the people of Louisiana and businesses of all sizes.

About the Prize Foundation:
The Prize Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Shreveport, is committed to promoting economic growth, workforce development, and entrepreneurship in Northwest Louisiana. Through its various initiatives, including the Startup Prize, the organization aims to drive innovation, creativity, and economic prosperity in the region.

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