Idea Village Partners to Bring IDEAinstitute to Baton Rouge

Biz New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS – The Idea Village has announced partnerships with Louisiana State University, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber and Nexus Louisiana to bring its IDEAinstitute program to Baton Rouge.

“Over the last 20 years, we’ve seen repeatedly that lasting economic development comes from identifying, nurturing and supporting homegrown entrepreneurial companies,” said Jon Atkinson, Idea Village CEO. “Why spend time and resources recruiting from out of state, when our region has a wealth of talent with promising startup ideas who are ready to become entrepreneurs?”

The announcement comes as the New Orleans-based nonprofit business accelerator continues to connect with regional economic development partners to “identify, support and retain promising early-stage entrepreneurs throughout Louisiana and beyond,” according to a spokesperson. In 2022, Idea Village announced partnerships with the St. Tammany Corporation and Thibodaux’s Bayou Region Incubator.

Since 2019, the Idea Village’s IDEAinstitute idea-stage accelerator has provided 261 early-stage founders with “tools, resources, and connections to help them turn their ideas into scalable ventures,” said a spokesperson.

The Baton Rouge partners will work together under the banner of “Startup City Launch.”

“It’s a natural progression of the collaborative small business ecosystem we are elevating within the Baton Rouge Area, alongside our partners Nexus LA and LSU Innovation,” said Chris Spalatin, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber’s manager of small business services. “This will build on our region’s small business offerings, allowing innovative entrepreneurs the opportunity to grow their startups into scalable ventures.”

“We’re excited about this partnership and look forward to working alongside the Idea Village to expand opportunities for entrepreneurs in the capital region,” said NexusLA management consultant Calvin Mills Jr.

Baton Rouge entrepreneurs will be able to participate in the IDEAinstitute via evening virtual classes. Led by Dr. Felipe Massa, associate professor of management and entrepreneurship at Loyola University New Orleans College of Business, the live sessions are supplemented with recorded curriculum, reading, suggested homework assignments and more.

The Idea Village also provides access to its network of mentors during“Coach Week,” when entrepreneurs can sign-up for multiple one-on-one sessions with experienced industry and startup leaders.

“Our partnership with The Idea Village is a key component of our Startup Northshore initiative that strives to advance our strategic business formation and business retention efforts,” said Chris Masingill, CEO of St. Tammany Corporation. “This partnership has brought specific, technical business development support for St. Tammany entrepreneurs from a nationally recognized leader,” he said.

The next IDEAinstitute cohort begins on April 19. Applications are live now until April 12.

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