Louisiana has always been a hotbed of talent and creativity, owing to its award-winning universities, start-up friendly tax laws, and an engaged investor audience.
It’s one of the main reasons Innovation Catalyst is proud to sponsor and attend events like the Baton Rouge Entrepreneur Week. BREW has a long history of celebrating innovation and the start-up spirit, and it also has strong roots in business collaboration, strategy, and implementation. BREW is the week out of the year where ideas find footing in Baton Rouge, and Louisiana entrepreneurs find their backers.
A big takeaway from the event is the sheer volume of ideas. Innovation doesn’t just speak technology as a first language; it’s also fluent in food, customer service processes, fashion, manufacturing, health, and beauty. Nowhere is that more evident than on BREW’s Pitch Night. This culminating showdown features the three finalists chosen from last year’s many BREW events, and each had their chance to pitch their concepts in front of a live audience and engaged investors.
This Pitch Night was especially exciting for us at Innovation Catalyst. As the evening’s main sponsor, we had the honor of awarding the most promising idea with $200,000 in start-up capital. As we listened to the pitches, it was evident the week of coaching, modeling, challenging, and collaborating had served these Louisiana entrepreneurs well. In the end, the panel of judges was most impressed with Lubricity Labs and awarded Dr. Boyce Clark and his team with the capital needed to expand his product base for broader appeal and wider production.
There are several reasons why Lubricity Labs stood out to us. In his efforts to create a product that eliminated hair frizz, Dr. Clark used passion, research, and chemistry to come up with a solution that was naturally-derived and ecologically responsible—and it actually worked. He clearly connected to his target demographic and their pain points, and his products were affordable, accessible, and easy to use. They were also safe enough for him to test on his own daughter, which struck an emotional chord with the audience.
The above points are important for all entrepreneurs to consider, especially as we come off the heels of BREW and gear up for NOEW in March. When the competition heats up for funding, how you pitch becomes just as important as the ideas you are pitching, which is why events like BREW and NOEW are as important for entrepreneurs as they are for investors. This is something Lubricity Labs embraced almost literally in its company story and mission; if you are going to shine, now is the time.