This year marks the 26th year of operations of LSU’s Louisiana Business & Technology Center. In just over a quarter century, this high technology business incubator has been involved in helping to create and/or save nearly 10,000 jobs. Located at the LSU Innovation Park, LBTC has 35 resident companies generating $19 million in revenue, has raised $12 million in equity and employs more than 150 people at an average salary of $44,130. Many of these companies are LSU-related, being either owned by or licensing technology from LSU faculty and researchers, harnessing LSU’s economic impact.
In 2005, it was named the National Business Incubation Association’s Business Incubator of the Year out of over 1,200 incubators worldwide. The LSU Innovation Park was named the 2013 Emerging Research Park of the Year by the Association of University Research Parks. This accomplishment is even more remarkable as the LBTC has operated for 26 years on self-generated funds without any state operating subsidy.
They provide business counseling to over 300 businesses annually that don’t physically occupy incubator space and provide access to the resources of LSU and the Federal Labs.
To address Louisiana’s ongoing “brain drain,” LBTC created the LSU Student Incubator in 2010 to keep LSU graduates and other talented business-minded professionals in the state. The Student Incubator boasts 29 student-run companies that employ 97 people and have raised over $3,600,000 in equity. This program serves as a national model, and many universities have come to LSU’s LBTC for assistance in developing their own student incubators.
In 2014, the LBTC has added the Prototyping Center called “ProtoStripes, where Tigers make their mark.” This center is equipped with a 3-D printer and scanner and other equipment necessary for companies to make prototypes of their inventions and technologies. All area businesses will have access to this prototyping center to commercialize their ideas and technologies, another value the LBTC brings to the regional business community.
The LBTC’s office at the NASA Stennis Space Center has assisted Louisiana companies in winning $70 million in Small Business Innovative Research awards including $19 million this year to Baton Rouge area companies.
The Louisiana Business Technology Center has had a dramatic impact on our state’s business climate and should be recognized for a job well done for the last 26 years. Here’s to continued success putting Baton Rouge and LSU on the map as an entrepreneurial and innovation hub.
Michael J. Olivier
CEO, Committee of 100 for Economic Development, Inc.