Louisiana State University

BATON ROUGE – LSU, BRAC and NexusLA are partnering to create Startup City Launch, a new, 10-week training program to help entrepreneurs turn their ideas into scalable businesses.

The program builds upon The Idea Village’s proven IDEAinstitute program that has served over 300 founders in the last four years and is an expansion of the Baton Rouge partners’ recently released Startup City magazine.

“The IDEAinstitute training complements LSU’s efforts in innovation and technology commercialization,” said Andrew J. Maas, associate vice president for research in the LSU Office of Innovation & Ecosystem Development. “We are excited to partner with The Idea Village to build in Baton Rouge and for the Startup City Launch program and look forward to offering even more resources to entrepreneurs in the Capital region.”

Jason Boudreaux, assistant director of entrepreneurial services at LSU Innovation, and Adam McCloskey, director of the LSU Small Business Development Center, will serve as coaches for the program.

“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.

Participants will attend hybrid classes, enabling them to learn the fundamentals of creating a scalable business, while building connections with a community of peers locally and across the region. The live classes are supplemented with in-depth curriculum, readings, and suggested “homework” assignments and 1:1 coaching from local coaches. Participants will also connect with mentors from The Idea Village and local networks.

“Startup City Launch is a natural progression of the collaborative business ecosystem we are elevating within the Baton Rouge area, alongside our partners NexusLA and LSU Innovation,” said Chris Spalatin, Baton Rouge Area Chamber 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.”

“Startup City Launch represents a major investment in building a dynamic startup community that is local rooted in Baton Rouge. As an organization that has been focused on supporting founders and building startup communities for over 20 years, we’ve seen repeatedly that some of our most durable economic development wins comes from identifying, nurturing and supporting homegrown entrepreneurial companies,” said Jon Atkinson, CEO of The Idea Village. “This local collaboration will help empower and connect the wealth of talent in our region to the opportunity to make their promising ideas a reality,” he said.

The next IDEAinstitute cohort begins in April. For more information or to sign up, click here.

About LSU Innovation 

LSU Innovation works with the LSU research community to facilitate the evaluation, protection and licensing of intellectual property created at LSU. LSU Innovation also focuses on establishing, developing and growing technology-based startup companies. This work maximizes the university’s impact on the intellectual, economic and social development of Louisiana and beyond. LSU Innovation helps LSU entrepreneurs and the community through the evaluation of their discoveries and ideas, mechanisms for protecting their innovations, marketing and industry negotiations for intellectual property and licensing and other agreements.

About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) is an aggressively ambitious regional economic development organization with a bias for action. BRAC seeks to push Baton Rouge beyond the status quo, unleash its potential, and support a vibrant business community that believes the finish line does not exist. BRAC seeks to accelerate economic opportunity in the Baton Rouge Area, for everyone, through BRING IT! Baton Rouge, its five-year, regional strategic plan. Learn more about BRAC at

About NexusLA

NexusLA’s mission is to accelerate the growth of high-potential companies by providing them with coaching, capital and connections. Our programs leverage regional collaboration to foster mentorship, investment and opportunity for local entrepreneurs to grow their ideas and transform the technology industry in Louisiana. For more information, please visit

About The Idea Village

The Idea Village’s core belief is that entrepreneurship is an agent of social and economic change. As an early champion of entrepreneurship in New Orleans, the organization has played an integral role in catalyzing the city’s entrepreneurial movement. In addition to supporting nearly 16,300 entrepreneurs, The Idea Village has successfully elevated New Orleans’s reputation as a hub of innovation, entrepreneurship, and business. By serving as a catalyst and developing programs that provide direct support and education to founders and early-stage companies, The Idea Village helps entrepreneurs build innovative and industry-leading companies that generate revenue and jobs and help create a more vibrant, inclusive and resilient local economy. Learn more at

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