The second annual Baton Rouge Entrepreneurship Week, a community-wide celebration of business innovation and job creation that will include everything from lectures and networking to a food truck roundup and a $125,000 competition for the best business pitch, will be held Monday through Friday.
The Baton Rouge observation, which is supported by the Baton Rouge Area Chamber and presented by the Louisiana Technology Park and The Greater Baton Rouge Business Report, is part of a worldwide celebration that will be observed in 115 countries.
In New Orleans, Entrepreneurship Week is held in March, spearheaded by The Idea Village. Officials with the chamber and economic development authority in Lafayette said entrepreneurial endeavors there are ongoing, with no events specifically tied to the global event.
“We wanted to focus on specific industries that are keys to Baton Rouge’s entrepreneurial success,” chairwoman Stafford Kendall said of BREW’s events. To that end, Wednesday will be set aside for food and drink and feature a lunchtime roundup of Baton Rouge food trucks, followed by a panel discussion featuring Corby Martin, an associate professor at the ingestive behavior laboratory at Pennington Biomedical Research Center.
Thursday will focus on digital media, and there will be discussions featuring representatives from Louisiana’s movie and video game industries.
Thursday and Friday feature discussions about Louisiana’s science, technology, engineering and math industries.
The goal of BREW is to offer an array of events aimed at entrepreneurs and let them pick and choose what they want to attend.
“We wanted to let things happen a little bit organically,” Kendall said. “One of my goals was to create opportunities for entrepreneurs to hang out with each other. You put two entrepreneurs together with a beer, and they’ll end up starting a company.”
There isn’t a unified registration for BREW, but Kendall estimates about 2,000 people attended events last year. This year, she expects about 3,000 to 3,500 will attend, based on what she’s heard from people.
“We’ve got a variety of things drawing people in, such as the SeNSE Pitch Night,” she said. “That’s got some real money going out. When you have $125,000 in prizes, that will definitely get a whole lot of people out.”
In New Orleans, nonprofit Idea Village, whose mission is to support entrepreneurial talent in the New Orleans region, bills the period between July and its entrepreneur week — next year March 16-22 — as “Entrepreneur Season.”
Cameron Adams, director of communications for The Idea Village, said Baton Rouge and New Orleans’ staggered schedule works well for the region by keeping momentum going and opportunities plentiful.
While Lafayette doesn’t have a schedule of multiple events set next week, the Opportunity Machine and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership of Louisiana will host a 1st Gear workshop from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday at the Picard Center at 200 East Devalcourt St. in Lafayette
In “Start Making Innovation Real,” entrepreneurs will learn about LEAN start-up methodology, innovation engineering, and business-to-business and business-to-consumer product development.
Baton Rouge Entrepreneurship Week events include:
- BREW 2012 KICKOFF WITH LSU: 5:30 p.m. Monday; LSU Business Education Complex Auditorium. Conversation and networking with leaders from the LSU 100: Fastest-Growing Tiger Businesses, including Will Boudreaux, CEO, Netchex; Brandon Landry, co-owner, Last in Concepts; Brian Rodriguez, president, Gatorworks; and Shawn Usher, president and CEO, Sparkhound. The event is free.
- BREAKFAST TO BUSINESS: 7:30-8:30 a.m. Tuesday; LSU Business Education Complex, Room 1420. Corey Tisdale, CEO of ShopperChoice.com, will be the guest speaker. Registration is $25, breakfast is included. For more information, go to http://www.regonline.com/Register/Checkin.aspx?EventID=1156482.
- BRAC CONNECT: 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday, Boogie Nights, Hollywood Casino. Networking opportunity. Admission is $5 for BRAC investors or $10 for non-investors. Register at http://celebratebrew.eventbrite.com/#.
- THE ENTREPRENEUR FORUM: 7:30 a.m., doors open, 8-9 a.m. presentation, Wednesday, L’Auberge Casino. Josh Linkner, author of The New York Times bestseller “Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity” is keynote speaker. Admission is $20 and includes a continental breakfast. Register at http://www.businessreport.com/apps/pbcs.dll/dcce?Site=LB&Date=20120910&Module=1&Category=events&Class=101&Type=general&ID=28503&Selected=5101/apps/pbcs.dll/dcce?Site=LB&Date=20120910&Module=1&Category=events&Class=101&Type=general&ID=28503&Selected=5.
- BATON ROUGE FOOD TRUCK ROUNDUP: 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Wednesday; North Boulevard Town Square downtown. Regional food truck gathering. Free admission.
- INNOVATION TAKE-OUT FOOD & BEVERAGE SESSION: 4-5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Hilton Hotel Baton Rouge. Presentations on the food truck revolution, with Matt Gellar, CEO of the Southern California Mobile Food Vendors Association; the latest in nutrition disease and entrepreneurial opportunities, presented by Corby Martin, associate professor of the Ingestive Behavior Laboratory at Pennington Biomedical Research Center; and the rise and development of online couponing, presented by Alli Phillips, general manager of Living Social Gourmet. Free admission. Register at http://celebratebrew.eventbrite.com/# .
- BREW COCKTAIL PARTY: 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, Hilton Hotel Baton Rouge. Free admission.
- WOMEN BUSINESS LEADERS BREAKFAST: 7:30-9:30 a.m. Thursday; L’Auberge Casino. Panelists include Martha Stuart Williams, senior vice president of strategic initiatives at Amedisys; Rhonda Binda, deputy director of the U.S. State Department’s Office of Global Intergovernmental Affairs; and Jen Bilik, founder and owner of Knock Knock. Admission is $40 and includes breakfast. Register at http://celebratebrew.eventbrite.com/#.
- SHOW ME THE MONEY: FINANCING FOR DIGITAL MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT: 9-10:30 a.m., Thursday; L’Auberge Casino. Panel discussion featuring Andre Champagne, president of Hollywood Trucks; Will French, co-founder and president of Film Production Capital; Todd Mouton, executive director of Louisiana Folk Roots; Danny Bigel, CEO and co-founder of Online Incentives Exchange; and James Napper III, litigation and intellectual property attorney for Napper Law. Free admission.
- WHAT ARE TAX CREDITS AND HOW CAN THEY HELP ME?: 10:30 a.m.-noon Thursday; L’Auberge Casino. Panel discussion featuring Lacey McRight, business development officer for music and live performance at Louisiana Economic Development; Stephanie LeGrange, staff attorney for Louisiana Economic Development; Chris Stelly, executive director of the Louisiana Office of Entertainment Industry Development; and Clint Mock, owner of Mock & Associates. Moderated by Sherri McConnell, principal of McConnell & Associates. Free admission.
- LOUISIANA TECHNOLOGY PARK LUNCHEON: Noon-1:30 p.m. Thursday, L’Auberge Casino. Bruno Matzdorf, an LSU graduate and resource development manager for the Sony Computer Entertainment Media Developer Services and Support Group, is guest speaker. Admission is $30 and includes lunch. Register at http://celebratebrew.eventbrite.com/#.
- HOW AN IDEA BECOMES A MOVIE: 1:30-2:30 p.m. Thursday; L’Auberge Casino. Panel discussion featuring Amy Mitchell Smith, founder/producer of Cienega Motion Pictures Group; Richie Adams, owner/creative director of River Road Creative; Lampton Enochs, co-founder of Moonbot Studios; Daniel Lewis, chief operating officer of Active Entertainment; and Andre Champagne, president of Hollywood Trucks. Free admission.
- EVERY MUSICIAN IS AN ENTREPRENEUR: 1:30-2:30 p.m. Thursday; L’Auberge Casino. Panel discussion featuring Scott Aiges, director of programs marketing and communications for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation; Jim Odom, president and CEO of Presonus; Cyril Vetter, of Vetter Communications; Johnny Palazzotto, producer for Pal Productions; Joel Savoy, Valcour Records musician; and Kristin Diable, Speakeasy Records musician. Free admission.
- FROM GEEK TO DIGITAL ARTIST: 1:30-2:30 p.m. Thursday; L’Auberge Casino. Panel discussion featuring Stephen Loy, executive director of Louisiana Technology Park; Evan Smith, creative director/owner of PixelDash Studios; Brian Dixon, executive director for the Mentorship Academy; and Jesse Allison, assistant professor of experimental music and digital media for the LSU College of Music and Dramatic Arts and the Center for Computation and Technology. Free admission.
- WORKING IN THE BIZ: WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT IN DIGITAL MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT: 2:30-3:30 p.m. Thursday, L’Auberge Casino. Panel discussion featuring Aaron Williams, CEO of Digital Media Production House; Patrick Mulhearn, director of Raleigh Studios at Celtic Media Centre; Ashley Charbonnet, director of programs for NOVAC; and David Sedevie, assistant professor of film at Baton Rouge Community College. Free admission.
- THE NEW LABEL: MUSIC FOR FILM, COMMERCIALS AND VIDEO GAMES: 2:30-3:30 p.m. Thursday, L’Auberge Casino. Panel discussion featuring Jeremy Pleasant, director of Fusion Media; Alan Abramson, founder of Victory Productions; Donny Markowitz, songwriter; Jay Weigel, Carondolet Music Group and Floating City Music; and Niki Sherrod, vice president of film music for Warner Brothers. Free admission.
- DESIGN & MARKETING FIRMS AS GREAT CONTENT CREATORS: 2:30-3:30 p.m. Thursday, L’Auberge Casino. Panel discussion featuring Jon Cato, partner Object 9; and John Jackson, executive producer for Launch Media. Free admission.
- DIGITAL MEDIA: CREATING THE ENSEMBLE CAST OF MARKETING, MUSIC AND TECHNOLOGY FOR FILM: 3:45-5 p.m. Thursday, L’Auberge Casino. Featuring Lampton Enochs, co-founder of Moonbot Studios. Free admission.
- PITCHING A WINNING IDEA: 5:30 p.m. doors open, 6-6:45 p.m. presentation, Thursday; L’Auberge Casino. Featuring Jason Lucash, Shark Tank winner and business development director for OrgAudio. Free admission.
- SENSE HIGH-STAKES PITCH NIGHT: 7 p.m. Thursday; L’Auberge Casino. Five regional business leaders have agreed to invest $25,000 or more in start-up companies if the deal is right. They will hear investment pitches from nearly 40 businesses. Admission is $10. Register at http://celebratebrew.eventbrite.com/#.
- BRAC’S 2013 ECONOMIC OUTLOOK: 7:30-9 a.m. Friday; Pennington Biomedical Research Center. The Baton Rouge Area Chamber will release its economic outlook for the upcoming year. Wayne Simmons, president and CEO of Sundrop Fuels, will also give a presentation on building a venture-backed biofuels company. Admission is $25 and breakfast is provided. Register at http://celebratebrew.eventbrite.com/#.
- DEMO: CUTTING EDGE IDEAS FROM THE FIELDS OF ENGINEERING AND HEALTH: 9:15-10:15 a.m. Friday; Pennington Biomedical Research Center. Panel discussion featuring Jerry Spivey, a professor at LSU’s Department of Chemical Engineering; Daniel Hayes, an assistant professor at the LSU AgCenter; Nikhil Dhurandhar, professor at Pennington Biomedical Research Center; and Ken Eilertsen, associate professor at Pennington Biomedical Research Center. Free admission.
- ENGINEERING THE FUTURE AT EXPONENTIAL RATES: X PRIZE, SINGULARITY AND THE FUTURE OF SPACEFLIGHT: 10:30-11:30 a.m. Friday; Pennington Biomedical Research Center. Featuring Diane Murphy, board of trustees for The X Prize Foundation and former vice president of Space X. Free admission.
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