New Orleans Startup Fund, Propeller Awarded Nearly $2M from EDA

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NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Startup Fund has been awarded $1.2 million by the U.S. Economic Development Administration to accelerate technology entrepreneurship by increasing inclusive access to business support and capital. NOSF, a nonprofit venture fund focused on companies with significant growth potential in the 10-parish Greater New Orleans region, will also increase investment and technical assistance capacity, in conjunction with Propeller, through a $750,000 EDA grant.

“New Orleans is rich in ideas and talent, but entrepreneurs need capital as well as guidance and expertise in order to grow their companies. That’s where NOSF and Propeller come in. We’re proud to have our success, and that of our entrepreneurs, recognized by the EDA and expanded through these grant awards,” said NOSF CEO Jimmy Roussel.

NOSF was created in 2010 to accelerate the growth of early-stage, innovative businesses into venture-ready companies. It has invested in more companies than any seed-stage investor in Louisiana and has one of the largest portfolios of women and people of color-owned technology companies in the southeastern U.S.

The EDA “Build to Scale” grant funding will allow NOSF to unlock additional innovation capacity and capital, strengthen economic competitiveness, and advance equitable wealth-building. 

“For every $1 the New Orleans Startup Fund has invested in our portfolio companies, in aggregate, they have been able to raise $60 in follow-on capital. And with every venture that ‘makes it,’ we’re keeping talent here at home and growing a more vibrant, equitable economy,” said Roussel.

EDA grant funds will also scale up a successful pilot between Propeller and NOSF seeded through several collaborations aimed at connecting private capital to businesses with high-growth potential in socially and environmentally beneficial sectors. 

“We’re eager to leverage this new funding to expand our work to create an inclusive and thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem in New Orleans that responds to community needs and creates the conditions for an equitable future,” said Propeller CEO Andrea Chen. 

With abundant cultural assets and some of the richest industry incentives in the country, Greater New Orleans is a burgeoning center for innovation and excellence in technology. 

“New Orleans boasts a robust and established ecosystem for technology companies of all sizes, including home-grown success stories like Levelset, Lucid, TurboSquid, and Geocent. EDA’s investment will set the stage for the next generation of high-growth tech companies. The result will be a stronger, more diverse local economy,” said Michael Hecht, president and CEO of GNO Inc., which helped launch and grow NOSF.

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