The Louisiana Entrepreneurs’ Organization Accelerator program held its first graduation Friday for nine New Orleans and Baton Rouge businesspeople who have grown their companies to more than $1 million in annual sales.
“Only 4 percent of all small businesses reach more than $1 million in annual sales. Hitting this mark is a significant accomplishment for any business,” said Kevin Langley, who founded the Accelerator program more than six years ago.
The program is aimed at businesses with revenues of at least $250,000. The heads of participating companies go to quarterly meetings, where they get lessons about strategic planning, sales and marketing, human resources and finance. After an accelerator business records $1 million in annual revenue, it moves up to membership in the entrepreneurs organization.
The graduates are:
- McKenzie Coco, founder and president of FSC Interactive, New Orleans. Her company develops online strategies for businesses through paid search placement, website optimization and social media strategies.
- Patrick Comer, president of Jackson Square Group, New Orleans. Jackson Square is a holding company that primarily invests in market research technology firms.
- Will Davidson, owner and CEO of Hybrid Racing, Baton Rouge. His company makes and sells parts needed for swapping engines in Hondas and Acuras and to improve vehicle performance.
- Bret Esquival and Darren Kattan, co-founders of Immense Networks, Baton Rouge. The company offers information technology consulting, Web development and managed hosting.
- Tara Hernandez, president of JCH Development, New Orleans. Her company is a boutique urban real estate development firm with experience in developing, historic, mixed-use, residential and commercial projects.
- Robert LeBlanc, president, Lifestyle Revolution Group, New Orleans. His company is an entertainment development firm specializing in music venues, hotels bars and gastropubs, including New Orleans properties such as Republic New Orleans, Loa and Capdeville.
- Chris Schultz, founder, Voodoo Ventures, New Orleans. His company is an Internet incubator, designed to launch startup firms.
- Neel Sus, chief executive officer, Susco & Touch Studio, New Orleans. The company develops custom apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry and iPad devices, along with Facebook programs.