LSU LBTC, WTC Sign Memorandum of Understanding
Organizations to collaborate on economic development
BATON ROUGE – Charles D’Agostino, executive director of the Louisiana Business & Technology Center at LSU, and Dominik Knoll, chief executive officer of the World Trade Center of New Orleans, have signed a memorandum of understanding. This MOU will further strengthen the ties between the organizations to help businesses throughout the state optimize their potential and promote international trade and development.
“The World Trade Center is excited about cooperating with the LBTC, which is already working to help small and medium enterprises interested in exporting to Latin America,” said Knoll. “Our ability to identify foreign markets and areas for potential overseas growth will create synergies that benefit both our organizations, and more importantly our hundreds of small business members. We look forward to formalizing an even longer-lasting partnership with the LBTC that will help Louisiana businesses stay ahead of the curve when it comes to technology and international trade.”
“This partnership will enhance the services that we currently offer to small businesses in Louisiana seeking assistance in international trade and exporting goods and services,” D’Agostino said. “We currently are actively working on export programs with Brazil, Colombia, Panama, Mexico and China and having a partnership with the WTCNO greatly enhances our programs by tapping the experience and knowledge of their staff, clients, consultants and counterparts worldwide.”
The partnership between the organizations will focus on the following key areas:
- Bring together the WTCNO with LBTC faculty and staff on international business development projects, student and faculty exchanges, foreign direct investment and import/export programs;
- Providing consulting services and information to WTCNO members regarding business planning, expanding into international markets and raising capital;
- Sharing knowledge and expertise between the organizations that will produce original research, workshops and seminars.
The World Trade Center of New Orleans, a non-profit organization consisting of more than 1,000 corporate and individual members, is recognized by the World Trade Centers Association, or WTCA, as the first of what are now more than 300 WTCs in almost 100 countries. Through this network, and partnerships with other local, state and national agencies, WTCNO is able to offer its members unmatched expertise and information on international trade and investment. The World Trade Center assists its members to increase their bottom lines through international trade, training, hosting international business delegations, conducting outbound and inbound trade missions, and serving as a networking organization for Louisiana’s leading business executives.
The LBTC was established in 1988 within the E. J. Ourso College of Business at LSU to enhance economic development in Louisiana through the support of existing small businesses and the development of new businesses. It has assisted more than 6,000 small businesses and entrepreneurs by providing technical and management assistance, and currently houses more than two dozen small businesses in their business incubator. In addition to the business incubator, the LBTC operates programs around the state, including the Technology Transfer Office, Small Business Development Center, the Mobile Classroom and the international trade assistance program.