The Louisiana Business & Technology Center at LSU to Host Latin American Entrepreneurs

11/25/2014 08:38 AM

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Business & Technology Center, or LBTC, at LSU has been selected to participate in a mentoring program funded by the United States Agency for International Development, or USAID, for Latin American entrepreneurs.

The program educates a group of successful businesses from the Pacific Alliance countries on how to do business in the United States. Five entrepreneurs will be selected from each of the participating countries – Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. The selection process in each country will take place over the next month to identify the entrepreneurs that will be selected for the LBTC Program in Baton Rouge.

“The entrepreneurs selected to visit Louisiana are from the food and agriculture industries,” LBTC Executive Director Charles D’Agostino said. “This is a perfect fit, since Louisiana is known for fine cuisine, and we have a world class food incubator at the LSU AgCenter that will participate with us, along with local chefs and food production companies.”

The entrepreneurs will receive in-depth training and mentoring in Baton Rouge in February 2015. The goal is to help these business owners understand the U.S. and local business environments, as well as the legal and tax requirements for conducting business with the U.S.

The LBTC staff will coordinate two weeks of intensive training and meetings for the group during February, followed by up to three months of mentoring through a virtual platform. The entrepreneur’s education will include workshops with local experts, visits with local businesses and organizations, and individual meetings when appropriate.  

“The entrepreneurs who will be visiting LSU for the training have already established themselves as successful businesspeople in their home countries,” D’Agostino said.  “The LBTC staff, LSU faculty and local business leaders will introduce these visitors to business operations in the U.S., as well as developing contacts to facilitate their investments and tap into the U.S. markets. This follows closely with the LBTC’s Soft Landing Program, whereby foreign companies are allowed to occupy space at the LBTC to get start their businesses in the U.S.”

Varela Consultants in Tucson, Ariz., is the central coordinator for the project, which also includes two other incubators, Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center in Corpus Christi, Texas, and Tech Fort Worth in Fort Worth, Texas, to host separate groups of entrepreneurs in other industries.

The USAID funded program, called La Idea, is designed to support Latin America entrepreneurs with resources that will help them cultivate and grow innovative businesses and startups that will generate employment and economic growth throughout the Americas. It also provides the basis for long-term mentorships. Eligible businesses are established, post-revenue, and export-ready to scale up for the global market.

About the Louisiana Business & Technology Center
The Louisiana Business & Technology Center is a 26 year old technology business incubator that is located on the LSU Innovation Park and has 34 businesses and 31 student owned businesses in its 60,000 square foot incubator. The LBTC focuses on science and technology that parallel the strengths of LSU in engineering, advanced materials, agriculture, food technology, electronics, digital media, energy, chemistry, veterinary medicine and bio-technology. The LBTC offers business counseling and access to LSU resources and support for businesses to compete for and win Small Business Innovation Research, or SBIR, grants from the federal labs.  

Ernie  Ballard 
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2014