OUT TO LUNCH finds Baton Rouge Business Report Editor Stephanie Riegel combining her hard news journalist skills and food background: conducting business over lunch. Baton Rouge has long had a storied history of politics being conducted over meals, now the Capital Region has an equivalent culinary home for business: Mansur’s. Each week Stephanie holds court over lunch at Mansur’s and invites members of the Baton Rouge business community to join her. You can also hear the show on WRKF 89.3FM.
Thirty years ago, a young, high-energy entrepreneur left his private sector job to create the Louisiana Business and Technology Center on the LSU campus, a business incubator for small startups. In the three decades since, the LBTC has helped launch hundreds of businesses and has spawned the creation of the much larger LSU Innovation Park, a 13-year-old facility on its own south campus dedicated to research commercialization.
This edition of Out to Lunch Baton Rouge is a special tribute to that man, Charlie D’Agostino, who is retiring at the end of the 2018.
Few people in Louisiana know more about business incubation and economic development than Charlie, who himself is a 1972 LSU graduate with degrees in chemistry in business. He started his career with NASA. In 1988, LSU recruited him to develop the LBTC, which today is the flagship entity on the 200-acre Innovation Park, which is about five miles downriver from the main LSU campus and today includes not only the LBTC but also the LSU Student Incubator, LSU Ag Center Food Incubator, Pennington Biotech Initiative, ProtoStripes Center, and the Louisiana Emerging Technology Center. It’s an incredible ecosystem that really seeks to connect the dots in a market that hasn’t typically been an easy place for entrepreneurs and small businesses to get a start. Charlie, thanks for being here today on Out to Lunch.
Joining host Stephanie Riegel and Charlie is the man who will succeed him, Dave Winwood. Currently Dave divides his time between LSU’s Innovation Park, where he is Assistant eEecutive Director, and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, where he serves as Associate Executive Director.
Photos over lunch at Mansurs on the Boulevard.