The goal of the Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program (EAP) is to create entrepreneurial wealth by analyzing the viability of ideas and products, match them with informed investors and nurture them through the critical steps to market.
BRF has engaged in knowledge-based economic development for over twenty years, with programs and facilities that support innovation through its InterTech Science Park, its relationship with LSU Health Shreveport, and science/technology education programs. Launched in 2014, EAP provides the services and resources to accelerate the creation of the innovation ecosystem in northwest Louisiana by creating a one-stop shop for a comprehensive pipeline from idea to market.
At the end of 2015, EAP had evaluated nearly 250 products and ideas. Eight startups received investor funding, and created 39 local jobs with an annual payroll of $1.7 million.
EAP’s components for success are:
- Significant investment by government sources with support from the Caddo Parish Commission and the City of Shreveport;
- Personnel adept in evaluating ideas, working with investors and entrepreneurs, establishing startup companies, and understanding intellectual property and funding mechanisms;
- Education programs to inform and excite new investors and entrepreneurs who sustain and grow the program;
- Proof of concept funding to help entrepreneurs demonstrate that their ideas have promise and are well-positioned to move to the next stage of commercialization;
- A team of subject matter experts, and financial and legal consultants to increase the chances for success of the EAP and its startup clients; and
- A cadre of regional partners, such as universities, economic development organizations, Chambers of Commerce, government entities, and private enterprise to provide assistance in seeking ideas, and providing startups with facilities, expertise and funding.