At first glance, a recent study by Emergent Method on the status of Baton Rouge’s entrepreneurial ecosystem could be relegated to the category of tell-me-something-I-didn’t-know, writes Business Report Editor Stephanie Riegel in her new column.
The study basically iterates what every local entrepreneur, frustrated failed startup, and economic development professional already knows too well: Baton Rouge’s entrepreneurial “ecosystem” is about as healthy as the water table at a Superfund site, and what resources, programs and institutions do exist in the entrepreneurial “space” are fragmented, inefficient and failing to live up to their potential.
Though this may not be new news, there are plenty of little devils in the details of the Emergent Method study that make it worth the $50,000 it cost to produce, Riegel concludes, and well worth a careful read by anyone who cares about the future of the local economy and how public dollars are spent.
The study looked at the two major entrepreneurial entities in the market to determine if they can work more closely together to better serve the entrepreneurial community. They are the Research Park Corporation—the Bon Carré-based nonprofit organization best known for its business incubator, the Louisiana Technology Park—and LSU, which has its own business incubator, the Louisiana Business and Technology Center, at the recently rebranded Innovation Park on Gardere Lane.