BATON ROUGE, La. – Sixteen Louisiana-based growth-oriented companies are the third group of participants in the American Academy of Entrepreneurs, a second-tier program designed to accelerate business growth and develop business-to-business relationships. The initiative is made possible through a collaboration between Louisiana Economic Development and the Michigan-based Edward Lowe Foundation.

The 2022 program began July 19-21 with an intensive retreat-style program for participants at the Foundation’s headquarters in Cassopolis, Michigan. Participating companies were paired as mentors and mentees depending on their current growth stage and other factors in order to derive maximum value from the relationships. The paired companies will now engage in six monthly one-on-one meetings to work together and focus on barriers to growth.

“From my past experience as a small business owner, I know the importance of giving entrepreneurs the support they deserve,” said LED Secretary Don Pierson. “The participating companies are innovative and resilient, and I applaud them for their willingness to gather and share knowledge and experience. This will definitely help owners make better decisions. Working together through this program creates positive impact and develops relationships that create jobs and accelerate business growth.”

Tier 2 companies typically have 10 to 99 employees and sell to external markets. Common problems for these companies can be building a team, growing over time, and focusing on new targeted opportunities. The LED Growth Network offers a range of services to Louisiana’s second-stage companies, with mentoring opportunities being a focus area.

“This spring, I traveled to Louisiana to present LED our first-ever Founders Award, which recognizes individuals and organizations who champion the spirit of entrepreneurship,” said Dan Wyant, Chair and President of the Edward Lowe Foundation. “When it comes to supporting second-stage companies, LED continues to be a national leader. Now, we are excited to welcome the third cohort of Louisiana business owners to Big Rock Valley, our 2,000-acre learning campus in southwest Michigan, where they will begin the American Academy of Entrepreneurs program.”

The following companies are participating in the AAE Mentoring Program 2022:

  • Tailored experiences of New Orleans, a tour operator founded in 2013 that designs and delivers custom private luxury experiences across the United States and Canada.
  • Engineering Global LLC by Baton Rouge, a company founded in 2018 to provide process automation and control, electrical engineering and field service.
  • find solace of West Monroe, a private consulting agency founded in 2014 with a wide range of services for individuals and companies.
  • Fire and Safety Specialists Inc. by Lafayette, an international supplier and installer of fire and gas detection and suppression systems, founded in 2002.
  • Geaux via LLC from Madisonville, a company founded in 2018 that offers fitness equipment and playground solutions.
  • Global Management Enterprise LLC of Lake Charles, an industrial, commercial and residential recruitment and general contractor company founded in 2008.
  • In Loving Arms HealthCare for children of Baton Rouge, a physician-prescribed multidisciplinary day care center established in 2012 for medically challenged and/or technology-dependent children and young adults from newborn to age 21.
  • Leaf Environmental LLC by Gretna, an environmental consulting, engineering and remediation company founded in 2005.
  • MS Benbow & Associates by Metairie, a professional engineering company specializing in the energy and technology sectors, founded in 1978.
  • Nano from New Orleans, a company founded in 2001 that offers architecture and interior design services for new construction, renovation and monument preservation in many areas.
  • Noble plastics by Grand Coteau, a plastics manufacturing, product design and robotics integration company founded in 2000.
  • Nuworx LLC from New Orleans, a company founded in 2008 specializing in the exterior renovation of existing commercial buildings.
  • Post-Trauma Institute of Baton Rouge, a clinical and corporate mental health service and outpatient substance abuse treatment center established in 2012.
  • Ratcliff Development LLC of Alexandria, a regional real estate development and investment firm founded in 2008.
  • Stratify LLC by Houma, a business consulting organization founded in 2019 that helps owners and managers increase productivity, efficiency and profitability.
  • Synergy Design Group of New Orleans, a nationwide design provider for tradeshows, brand environments and signage, founded in 2000.

For more information on the American Academy of Entrepreneurs program or how to become an LED Growth Network company, contact Christopher Cassagne, Assistant Director of Small Business Services at 225.342.5882 or email Christopher.Cassagne@la .gov.

About the Edward Lowe Foundation
The Edward Lowe Foundation was established in 1985 by Ed and Darlene Lowe to use entrepreneurship as a strategy for economic growth and community development. The Foundation’s entrepreneurship initiatives focus on second-stage companies, which are growth-oriented companies that have progressed beyond startup but have not yet reached maturity. Its peer learning, leadership training and strategic information programs are designed to help these companies continue to grow. Visit EdwardLowe.org for more information.

About LEDs
Louisiana Economic Development is responsible for strengthening the state’s business environment and creating a more dynamic economy. It is the only US government agency accredited by the International Economic Development Council and boasts award-winning programs such as LED FastStart, ranked the #1 custom workforce training program in the US for 13 consecutive years. In 2021, LED attracted 64 new economic development projects representing over 18,100 new direct and indirect jobs, 9,700 retained jobs and more than $20.5 billion in new capital investment. Visit OpportunityLouisiana.com to learn how LED creates jobs and economic opportunity for Louisiana people and employers of all sizes.

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