LA: LED Awards Shreveport Foundation $300,000 to Attract Health-Focused Start-Ups to NW Louisiana | Trade and Industry Development

LA: LED Awards Shreveport Foundation $300,000 to Attract Health-Focused Start-Ups to NW Louisiana

Apr 15, 2024

Backed by state programs that empower research and innovation, bioscience startups and established institutions are powering Louisiana's emergence as a national hub of scientific exploration and collaboration. To help fuel that growth, Louisiana Economic Development has awarded a three-year grant to an award-winning organization that offers competitions, educational conferences, and cash prizes throughout the year to creative entrepreneurs as a means of encouraging economic development in northwest Louisiana.
LED will provide The Prize Foundation up to $100,000 a year for three years, for a total of $300,000, to expand its annual Startup Prize: Focus on Health program, an important recruiting mechanism for health-focused entrepreneurs, start-ups and companies to northwest Louisiana.
“Supporting health care and life science innovation drives new business investment, new job creation and the creation of new intellectual property in Louisiana,” LED Secretary Susan B. Bourgeois said. “The annual Startup Prize is a powerful opportunity to increase the pipeline of startups for these vibrant sectors. LED is proud to support the Prize Foundation’s efforts to sustain that growth.”
Differentiating itself from most pitch competitions, Startup Prize connects entrepreneurs with mentors, experts and inventors who can help grow early stage health-related companies into sustainable businesses. Mentors are handpicked to give entrepreneurs and their startups the best shot at success. Win, lose, or draw, all startups that enter the competition have access to viable investors and all finalists have the opportunity to present their concepts to a panel of investor judges for potential investment dollars.
The LED grant will help to scale the new health-focused program by providing matching funds to annual grants received from LSU Health Shreveport ($15,000), the Greater Bossier Economic Development Fund ($10,000), Phillips Kallenberg Investments ($10,000) and North Louisiana Economic Partnership ($5,000).
“We are so proud to be working with Louisiana Economic Development on Startup Prize: Focus on Health,” said Gregory Kallenberg, founder of Startup Prize. “This program has so much potential to attract health-focused startups and innovators to our state, and this grant will help us to reach that potential.”
“The Greater Bossier Economic Development Foundation (GBEDF) has been a partner with the Prize Foundation for many years and I have seen the positive impact this organization has in our region and throughout Louisiana,” said Rocky Rockett, executive director of GBEDF. “We are proud to partner again with LED and so many others to continue and grow the reach of Prize Foundation in northwest Louisiana. We look forward to many more years of success and celebration.”
“The Startup Prize program not only fosters innovation and entrepreneurship but provides a space for the contributions of all citizens who will contribute to the economic growth of Shreveport and Louisiana as a whole,” said Shreveport Mayor Tom Arceneaux.
“The entire body of work the Prize Foundation has created to share with the world, all the incredible talent and assets, across many genres, that exist in northwest Louisiana is unique and impressive,” said Justyn Dixon, CEO of the North Louisiana Economic Partnership. “This grant will allow Startup Prize to amplify its past performance in growing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Northwest Louisiana in support of the economic engines found in our world-class healthcare research, teaching and patient care facilities.”

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