Louisiana Startup Prize 2016 Announces Finalist Entrepreneurs

One additional entrepreneur will be in the running forLouisiana Startup Prize’s grand prize $75,000 worth of cash and services.

For the first time, LASP extended the finalist slots to six from its previous five.

Sabrina Adsit said this year’s entries exceeded expectations calling for the change.

“It’s a testament of who you are as entrepreneurs and investors and I can’t give you all enough kudos or applause. You all blow me away,” Adsit said to the crowd gathered for the finalist announcement Wednesday at Rhino Coffee.

Three years into the Louisiana Startup Prize, and the competition is steeper than ever before and more diverse.

More than 100 entrepreneurs attended Qualifying Events in April and June. Competitors represented cities, including San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Houston, New York City and Memphis, tipping the scale to 52 percent of entrepreneurs from outside the Shreveport-Bossier City area.

LASP reported 63 percent of those entrepreneurs were minorities and/or female, making it the most diverse group to date for the competition.

On Wednesday, LASP announced the six finalist who will move on to the next round and vie for the grand prize.

They are:

  1. Bansen Labs
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Technology connects people with disabilities with everyday technological devices.  for people with disabilities
  2. Cast 21
    Urbana, Illinois
    A lattice-structure cast that can be applied universally to conform to any amorphous shape, thus creating a form-fitting, breathable cast.
  3. Feather
    Memphis, Tennessee
    Offers seniors and their families access to reliable, quality, and consistent care that meets their specific needs and schedule through a web and mobile app
  4. Segue Therapeutics
    Shreveport, Louisiana
    Biotechnology company dedicated to the discovery and medical use of re-purposed drugs to treat pancreatic cancer.
  5. Vega Coffee
    New York, New York
    Leon, Nicaragua
    An online coffee company focused on aiding native coffee growers by connecting them directly with their customers.
  6. Viper Drill
    Lake Charles, Louisiana
    A radial drilling system that improves oil and gas recoveries from existing wells creating a series of drainage tunnels that radiate out from the wellbore.

“Having an additional startup join the Top 5 is an incredible step forward for us,” said founder Gregory Kallenberg. “It means that the quality of our entrepreneurs and their startups has never been higher. Also, having a woman-run startup in the mix shows that we are helping to grow a diverse and incredibly innovative event where everyone and their concepts are celebrated and rewarded.”

LASP’s format provides educational opportunities and connects entrepreneurs and investors.

The prizes:

  • Six finalists will be competing for the Grand Prize of cash and services equaling more than $70,000.
  • The Grand Prize includes $25,000 cash,
  • $10,000 worth of marketing services from Williams Creative Group,
  • $10,000 of accounting services from Heard, McElroy and Vestal,
  • one free year of office space provided by the American Tower and a $5,000 corporate video provided by Fairfield Studios.
  • Aneca Federal Credit Union is also offering each of the finalists access to $100,000 of financing for business expenses. Startup Prize Investor Judges (a group primarily consisting of qualified investors) have the opportunity to invest further into any of these final projects.

Mark the calendar

  • The next LASP event will be a public event mixer on Aug. 19.
  • On Aug. 20, entrepreneurs will present their concepts to the LASP Investor Judges, made of a select group of investors and consultants.
  • In a public brunch ceremony, the grand prize winner will be announced on Aug. 21.

Read it on The Shreveport Times website

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