The annual Baton Rouge Entrepreneurship Week kicks off next week with programming tailored to the needs of "entrepreneurs on the rise." 

BREW starts off Tuesday with an event from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. showcasing innovations, products and services created by Baton Rouge entrepreneurs at the Louisiana Emerging Technology Center. BREW ends Thursday with a pitch night at 5 p.m. at the Water Campus, where five companies pitch for a chance at a $10,000 top prize. 

Keynote speakers at BREW this year include Jill Nelson, founder and CEO of Ruby Receptionists, and Chris Meaux, founder and CEO of the Louisiana food delivery service Waitr. Nelson will deliver a morning keynote Wednesday at 9 a.m., while Meaux will give a lunchtime address at 1 p.m. 

Other speakers include Dima Ghawi, Colleen Waguespack, Deborah Sternberg, Gus Murillo and several others. 

Morning programming on Wednesday, which is "entrepreneur day," includes sessions on product/market fit, resources for Baton Rouge entrepreneurs, becoming an angel investor and challenges faced by small businesses and startups. Afternoon sessions will center around the challenges of scaling businesses, according to NexusLA, the event's main organizer. 

"The programming is designed to address the core challenges of growing a business, and the open, conversational format will provide ample opportunities to connect and engage with potential collaborators, peers, mentors and investors," Research Park Corp. President and CEO Genevieve Silverman said. 

"Entrepreneur day" will close with a beer and wine happy hour. 

BREW is being "reinvented" this year to include programs aimed specifically at local entrepreneurs who "already have traction in the marketplace," and who are currently growing their business, according to NexusLA.

“Following the feedback we received from entrepreneurs in Baton Rouge, we decided to dedicate an entire day’s worth of programming to serving entrepreneurs with opportunities to engage with one another and have open, honest and productive conversations about their biggest challenges in growing their businesses,” Wendy Overton, director of programs for NexusLA, said in a statement. 

In the past, BREW has been a weeklong event, but it was shortened to a three-day period last year, when it was held at various downtown locations. The schedule and registration are at

Follow Sam Karlin on Twitter, @samkarlin.