Idea Village: N.O. Tech Businesses ‘Win Big’ in 2021
NEW ORLEANS – From the Idea Village:
On Tuesday, Dec. 21, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell celebrated entrepreneurship in New Orleans with a second line parade in honor of multiple New Orleans home grown businesses that were recently acquired by larger companies. These acquisitions have a combined value of more than $2 billion.
The businesses include major tech companies with local workforces and local founders who share connections to The Idea Village business accelerator program. These companies have been nurtured by a local entrepreneurial ecosystem that includes venture capitalists, business advisors, and the City of New Orleans.
As startups whose acquisitions will only strengthen the New Orleans economy, these tech businesses – Geocent, IMoto, Levelset, Lucid and Turbosquid – will continue to provide good jobs and innovative leadership for New Orleans.
“Today we celebrate this year’s success of local startup companies in the City of New Orleans,” said Cantrell. “Entrepreneurship matters to our city and we are excited to acknowledge the victories of local employers and business leaders. Our goal has always been to support them all – the big tech companies who employ thousands, and the forward-thinking, solo entrepreneurs who wake up every day with a dream and the drive to pursue it, as they assist in strengthening our economy by investing in our city.”
The City of New Orleans was an early supporter of The Idea Village, the nonprofit accelerator founded in 2002 that connects entrepreneurs with the resources they need in order to grow their businesses.
The Idea Village’s Jon Atkinson credits the success of these companies with long-range planning that started 20 years ago. “The birth, growth and subsequent sales of these companies show that New Orleans can be home to industry leading businesses that create wealth and equity,” he said. “Their collective success is a winning cycle that can be repeated.”
All the companies celebrating at Tuesday’s parade could have easily made their homes in Austin, Atlanta or another Southern city that often competes with New Orleans for business. So why New Orleans?
“The vibrant and welcoming culture of New Orleans is one reason we’ve been able to attract good team members and talented employees,” said Patrick Comer, Founder and CEO of Lucid. “The second reason we have been able to grow here is because the of the commitment from business and civic communities in New Orleans. They believed in innovation, put their money where their mouths were and supported early efforts to create an entrepreneurial infrastructure that lead the successful year for so many local technology companies,” said Comer.
Companies participating in the celebration include Geocent, iMoto, Lucid, Levelset, and Turbosquid, who rallied their employees and stakeholders to join Mayor Cantrell in celebrating this incredible year of startup success. Those four tech companies participating in the Startup celebration were not the only locally-grown companies to attract major outside investment in 2021. Brothers Chicken, Kickboard, Sunpro Solar, Big Easy Bucha, and iMoto were also acquired this year.
Job seekers are encouraged to visit The Idea Village jobs portal at https://jobs.ideavillage.org/ to apply for open positions at the companies celebrated at the Second Line and others. Entrepreneurs seeking to grow their companies are invited to apply to The Idea Village accelerator program and attend the upcoming New Orleans Entrepreneur Week on March 21-25, 2022. To learn more about these programs, sign up for updates via The Idea Village website at www.ideavillage.org.
Levelset CEO Scott Wolfe, Jr. sums it up best when he said that “when we look back on 2021, we will remember it as the year that cemented New Orleans’ spot as a premier tech and leadership hub. The incredible success we’ve experienced is a testament to the efforts of local leadership and talent, and the impact of homegrown programs like The Idea Village.”
“Be on alert New Orleans,” said Wolfe. “The world has taken note and the opportunity we have ahead of us is boundless.”