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.
We know south Louisiana has a healthy number of budding entrepreneurs. We’ve met many of them on this show over the past year. But one thing we hear over and over again is that south Louisiana doesn’t have a very well-developed entrepreneurial ecosystem. It’s starting to change, but is it happening fast enough?
Arthur Cooper is on the frontlines of building that entrepreneurial ecosystem. He is the president and CEO of the LSU Research and Technology Foundation. The Foundation serves a vital purpose in the world of technology transfer by helping researchers at all the LSU campuses bring their inventions and discoveries to market more quickly by taking care of a lot of the paperwork and back office functions that are necessary when you file a patent and have a licensing agreement. It’s the kind of stuff researchers aren’t necessarily good at, but Arthur is.
Chris Zavala is an example of a local entrepreneur who has successfully navigated the waters of bringing a great idea to market and now has a patent on his product, YellowJacket. YellowJacket is cell phone case that is also an 8million volt stun gun. It's a sensational idea and ther world beyond Baton Rouge agrees. It's just hit the market, is already for sale on WalMart.com, and is poised to be a Christmas stocking stuffer.
As we learn on this show, people may not naturally think of Baton Rouge when looking for new tech, but that's about to change.