Baton Rouge, New Orleans Business Briefs for April 4, 2021

The Advocate

Burkenroad investment conference scheduled

Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business will hold its 24th Annual Burkenroad Reports Investment Conference virtually from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 23.

The event is hosted by finance professor Peter Ricchiuti, who tracks regional stocks across the South through the university’s Burkenroad Reports.

The morning will include presentations by dozens of small- and midcap company executives. A midday panel discussion will cover environmental, social and governance sustainability and resilience within public companies. A “fireside” chat with Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist, at Charles Schwab & Co. will close the event. about:blank

Registration for the conference is at Details and instructions will be emailed to participants after completing registration.

Business retention, expansion course set 

Registration has started for a virtual business retention and expansion course that will be held May 12-13 by the Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association.

Hours for the course’s two days are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The interactive course explores why concerns of local businesses need to be addressed; business visitation techniques and survey methods that help gauge the community’s business climate; “red flags” that might indicate a company is looking to move elsewhere; and how to structure a technical assistance program to respond to business concerns. The course also helps participants understand how a business retention and expansion program relates to attraction, workforce development, small business finance, technology transfer and other economic development activities.

Early registration through April 9 is $200 for association members $200 and $250 for nonmembers. Regular registration April 10-30 increase by $50. Information and registration are at

Initiative evaluates business idea viability

A new initiative titled “Ignition” has been set up to help entrepreneurs evaluate their business idea’s viability.

During the eight-week entrepreneurial accelerator program, business mentors and industry experts will guide participants through the customer development process designed to help them determine whether anyone will buy what they are selling.

The deadline to apply is April 19 at Following physical distancing guidelines, in-person sessions will be held at the Louisiana Technology Park, 7117 Florida Blvd.

Ignition will kick-off with a program orientation at 6 p.m. April 28 and conclude weekly sessions on June 30. In addition to the evening sessions, participants are expected to invest approximately five hours each week shaping their business idea outside of class. Ignition will include a virtual “Demo Day” competition on June 16 that allows participants to showcase their innovations to the community.

The LSU Office of Innovation and Technology Commercialization will be leading the technical training and providing startup expertise during the weekly sessions.

The cost to attend is $200. However, needs-based scholarships are available upon request. Participation is limited to no more than 15 entrepreneurs, and preference will be given to the candidates who demonstrate the aptitude and attitude to complete the program and launch a scalable, tech-enabled business.

Participants will also have access to up to $3,000 in reimbursable funds through a grant at LSU to help cover the cost of their customer discovery efforts. These funds can be used for travel, to attend a conference or other creative ways.

BRAC seeks educators for career program

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber is accepting applications through April 22 for its virtual Pathways to Prosperity Fellowship.

The fellowship is available to middle and high school counselors, principals, assistant principals and career coaches working at a public or public charter schools located in the nine-parish Capital Region. The program is designed to explore local career opportunities available to students in STEM fields, specifically, health care, manufacturing, construction/skill craft and information technology/software.

Selected participants will virtually engage with professionals in June with BRAC partner companies to learn about occupations and day-to-day operations at each of the focus industries. 

Applications are at Space is limited. Selected fellows will receive a stipend for their participation.

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