Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program (EAP) celebrates three years of operation

11 new startup companies added to EAP’s Wall of Entrepreneurial Achievement

BRF’s Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program (EAP) celebrated its third year of operation and successful launch of local high growth startups with the addition of 11 new startup companies to its Wall of Entrepreneurial Achievement.

EAP installed the wall and hosted an unveiling with 13 portfolio companies last year in a community celebration with representatives from the City of Shreveport and Caddo Commission.

In honor of its third complete year of operation, EAP has added 11 additional startups that make up its portfolio of 24 launched companies in Caddo Parish.

Companies on the EAP Wall of Entrepreneurial Achievement are those that were helped by EAP to launch and grow locally.

“The companies we are recognizing as we celebrate three years of helping entrepreneurs and building an entrepreneur ecosystem here in Caddo Parish are those that are within the EAP portfolio and working with our financial analysts and other staff to advance key milestones and create good, high-paying jobs, solid business plans and are continuing their growth here to add to the local tax base and diversify our economy in Northwest Louisiana,” said Dave Smith, EAP Executive Director.

In three years, EAP has screened more than 440 companies to discuss business plans, growth potential and interest in launching in Northwest Louisiana. Smith and the team of financial analysts – Julie Gilley, Caryn Chalmers and Michael Mazur – have provided services, including market analysis, development of business plans, financial analysis and modeling, to 185 startup companies in the area.

One hundred and three new jobs are associated with EAP startups. The EAP portfolio companies have received $49 million in funding and capital investments from North Louisiana and around the United States.

“This is new investment coming into Caddo Parish, spurring economic growth and helping launch potentially high-growth companies,” said Smith.

“In three years, EAP has delivered on its promise of supporting entrepreneurs who are willing to launch and grow in this region. We have seen many successes over the past year, including the launch of the Shreveport Aquarium and many other funding milestones that our companies have achieved,” said John F. George Jr., M.D., President and CEO of BRF. “We hope to continue this tradition and add new startups to our wall and new life in our community for years to come.”

EAP Wall of Entrepreneurial Achievement 2017 Startups

CHeKT: A single platform security company combining cloud-based software, intelligent camera technology and the latest hardware integration platforms to address the security industry’s most common and costly problems.
Wesley Usie, CEO

Cotton Street Farms: Shreveport’s first 100 percent organic hydroponic farming company offering locally grown fresh herbs and vegetables delivered directly to consumers’ homes.
Michael Billings Jr., CEO

Gorilla Tree Film Co.: Northwest Louisiana based turnkey film studio, operating to produce and distribute feature films, with an emphasis on selling to niche markets and providing rental and production services.
Jonathan Kudabeck and Eric Gibson, Founders

Pet Education Project (PEP!): An educational initiative to inspire children to properly care for their pets and other animals through responsible pet ownership.
Erica Falbaum, CEO and Founder

Lunisolar Creative Productions: Children’s entertainment media company transforming the family entertainment and educational landscape in Northwest Louisiana, offering educational children’s material that appeals to both parents and children of the millennial generation and beyond.
Will and Katie Baten, Founders

Segue Science Labs: Drug discovery and development contract research facility with public/private access to high-tech laboratory space, equipment and expertise.
Dr. Jim Cardelli and Dr. Alana Gray, Founders

Planet Aqua Group: Aquatic exhibit and entertainment company with the pilot of its chain of LEED certified aquariums located in Shreveport.
Jon Whitehead, Al Leun, Chris Spalding, Founders

Red River Range: State-of-the-art, indoor shooting and training facility with outdoor archery range and fishing pond located in Shreveport.
Bradley Simon, Founder

G-Rock: Indoor rock climbing facility offering memberships, lessons and equipment and event space in Shreveport.
Leopoldo Gonzalez, Founder

PA Productionz: Shreveport-based professional service film company creating and producing quality film and TV content that is impactful and addresses relevant issues important to women, young adults and the African American community.
Priscilla Adams, CEO and Founder

Crazy Horse Coal: Innovative coal and mineral mining technology company using proprietary drilling techniques and leading edge drilling tools.
Jimmy ‘Bubba’ Davis, Founder

About EAP
The Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program was created to diversify the regional economy, grow jobs and expand the area’s tax base by providing services to innovative startups that have high growth potential.
EAP analyzes the viability of ideas and products, matches them with informed investors and nurtures them through the critical steps toward market.
EAP provides a suite of services to build sustainable and profitable companies in northwest Louisiana while stimulating economic development and enhancing the regional innovation entrepreneurial ecosystem.