SHREVEPORT, Louisiana (The Sun) – In a significant move to bolster entrepreneurial growth and economic development in North Louisiana, BRF, the region’s innovation hub and economic development organization, has officially launched its third angel investment fund. This latest venture is aimed at providing essential capital to budding entrepreneurs and promising investment opportunities to accredited investors.
BRF’s announcement on Monday introduced the New Louisiana Angel Fund 3 (NLAF 3), which stands as the most substantial among the three New Louisiana Angel Funds, boasting an impressive $5 million in funding. Dr. John F. George Jr., BRF’s President and CEO, underscored the mission of NLAF, stating, “NLAF’s mission is to organize capital and investment opportunities to promote high-growth startups in diverse industries that will help grow and diversify the economy of North Louisiana.”
This endeavor builds on the success of BRF’s previous angel investment funds. In 2015, BRF initiated North Louisiana’s inaugural angel fund, New Louisiana Angel Fund 1 (NLAF 1), amassing $2.7 million and garnering the support of 53 angel investors. Three years later, the region witnessed the launch of New Louisiana Angel Fund 2 (NLAF 2), which accumulated $3.1 million and involved 67 angels.
BRF’s latest investment fund, announced on October 23, 2023, allocates $5 million to fuel the dreams of entrepreneurs and extend enticing investment opportunities. Dr. George emphasized the advantage this presents to both investors and local entrepreneurs, saying, “Investors benefit from a rigorous due diligence process, and our local aspiring entrepreneurs have an opportunity they’ve not had before – to pitch to accredited local investors, keeping all of this investment capital, opportunity, and talent here in this region.”
BRF’s Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program plays a pivotal role as the business accelerator and facilitator of potential investment opportunities. Over the past eight years, EAP has meticulously assessed hundreds of opportunities for potential funding through the first two funds, leading to the approval of investments in 25 companies.
Dave Smith, EAP’s Executive Director, outlined their ambitious target, stating, “Members are targeting 20 companies for investment with NLAF 3.” The fund is still actively accepting investors, with the official launch scheduled for early November. NLAF aims to support high-growth technology startups across various industries, with examples such as medical and aerospace, entertainment, fintech, IT services, defense, and cybersecurity. Smith expressed enthusiasm, stating, “Members are looking forward to seeing innovative technology from any industry.”
One significant aspect of NLAF is its commitment to reaching beyond Louisiana’s borders. BRF disclosed that while the investments and companies are local, they have plans to facilitate syndication across Louisiana and even further afield. Julie Milam, Fund Manager and EAP’s Senior Financial Analyst, highlighted this approach, stating, “We’ll continue to syndicate with angel networks across the state and in other regions of the U.S. with NLAF 3. This practice offers fund companies additional investment and brings more investment capital into the area.”
The launch of the New Louisiana Angel Fund 3 represents a significant step forward in nurturing the growth of high-potential startups and diversifying the economy in North Louisiana. It is a promising development for both investors and entrepreneurs, further solidifying the region’s position as a hub for innovation and economic progress.