August 29th 2019 - Research Park Corporation Helps Re-position Innovation Catalyst for Future Growth
For immediate release
President & CEO, Research Park Corporation
Research Park Corporation Helps Re-position Innovation Catalyst for Future Growth
BATON ROUGE, La, August 29, 2019- Today the Research Park Corporation (RPC) Board renewed its support of non-profit corporation Innovation Catalyst Inc. (ICI) and its wholly-owned subsidiary, The Catalyst Fund (TCF), by committing more than $300,000 to the initiative through a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement. The new agreement also allows RPC to appoint the members of the ICI and TCF Boards.
ICI and TCF together operate a non-profit “evergreen” investment fund, established to address local and regional entrepreneurial needs by investing in high-potential startups with the goal of growing them into sustainable operations that deliver strong and consistent returns.
In 2013 the RPC originally created the fund using $1.5 million of its own funds and $1.1 million from the Louisiana Economic Development Corporation. In addition to the direct grant, the RPC also provides administrative support and office space at the Louisiana Technology Park.
“Since its inception, Innovation Catalyst has served our innovation ecosystem by providing the first-in seed capital that can help propel young companies forward and create jobs for Louisiana. We want to build on Innovation Catalyst’s success by increasing the capacity and visibility of the fund,” said Research Park Corporation President and CEO Genevieve Silverman.
ICI has invested all of its original funds into 19 companies over the span of six years, including Waitr, which provided a significant return on investment.
“While Waitr might be the most known investment that ICI has made, the fund also has other good investments that may result in positive exits and fresh liquidity,” says J. Terrell Brown, ICI Board Chair.
Under the new agreement, RPC’s team of business advisors will work more closely with ICI’s management to provide growth coaching services, connections and capital to Louisiana companies. “We want to ensure that a tech startup may complete a continuous entrepreneurial journey down a pathway of support that starts with assistance in vetting an idea, all the way to receiving funding, and beyond,” says Silverman.
The new strategy is part of a bigger picture for both organizations. “By better aligning RPC with ICI, we can strengthen and broaden Louisiana’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and drive new high-tech, high-potential company formation” said RPC Board Chair Calvin Mills.
RPC is currently planning an all-encompassing fundraising plan to raise funds for both ICI and RPC and provide a stronger case for support for both organizations. “We will approach funders that may be better aligned with this joint effort and help breathe new life into both organizations, creating a viable force to advance the development of high-tech industry and research in Louisiana,” says Silverman.
“I am pleased by the direction that Innovation Catalyst is going. We have already made a tremendous impact on our entrepreneurial ecosystem. It excites me to think about the larger impact we can have in the years to come. I know it will be significant,” says Brown.
About Research Park Corporation
Research Park Corporation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation established by the Louisiana Legislature in 1992 to promote the development of high-tech industry and research in Louisiana and increase employment in the state. The organization has emerged as an economic development conglomerate with two subsidiaries, Louisiana Technology Park and NexusLA, each taking a different but aligned approach toward helping Louisiana companies create the jobs of the future.