BATON ROUGE — Entrepreneurs across the state will have the opportunity to apply for venture capital funding and business development resources as part of a new start-up accelerator program funded by Techstars and Louisiana Economic Development.
Techstars, a global investment business that provides access to capital, one-on-one mentorship and programming for early-stage entrepreneurs, will operate the new program as part of the $80 million Advancing Cities Fund raised through the J.P. Morgan Private Wealth platform last fall. New Orleans was among nine cities selected to house the program, which is designed to create opportunities for wealth creation among a diversified range of founders often constrained by institutional, structural and systemic barriers.
“Techstars is the largest startup network in the world, with more than 8,000 founders, 5,000 mentors, 300 corporate partners, thousands of investors, and 54 programs in 14 countries,“ said Michael Hecht, president and CEO of Greater New Orleans Inc., in a press release. “Having Techstars in our market will not only provide impactful funding and mentorship to our startups, it reinforces that greater New Orleans belongs in the ‘big leagues’ for innovation.”
“This public-private partnership with Techstars further strengthens Louisiana’s already thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “The state’s investment in program operations ensures that entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses across Louisiana have equal access to this unique opportunity, which benefits the economy of the entire state.”
The program will invest in 12 companies in 2023, with the possibility of additional cohorts in 2024 and 2025. The application period opens March 13 and concludes May 10. Founders will be notified in late June. Beginning in mid-August, the selected founders will go through Techstars’ unique 13-week accelerator program, during which they are supported by a community of mentors, investors, alumni and partners.
Founders interested in applying for the program can apply online here.
New Orleans joins New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Miami, Oakland and Washington, D.C. as host cities for the program. J.P. Morgan Commercial Banking mentors in each market provide support and financial guidance throughout the program, leveraging the breadth and depth of the J.P. Morgan network to help advise each founder and company.