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Regional Business Incubator Set to Open

The Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO) announced today it has opened the application process for its Business Innovation Center at Churchill. The facility, located in Churchill Technology & Business Park in Avondale, will begin hosting tenants this April.

Up to 10 technology based startup companies may be housed at the incubator, with access to office space and equipment, wireless internet, administrative assistance and conference facilities including video conferencing capabilities. In addition to the actual tenants, the Business Innovation Center will be home to virtual tenants who can utilize all of the assets of the program without actually occupying office space.

“The Business Innovation Center is much more than a facility,” said JEDCO Executive Director Lucien Gunter. “It is an integrated program designed to connect entrepreneurs with the resources they need to grow and prosper.”

Programmatic seminars will be regularly offered to address the challenges that prevent many startup companies from growing into viable, profitable businesses. Incubator participants will receive assistance with business development, marketing, accounting and legal issues. They will also be connected to funding resources such as angel investors, banks and financing institutions.

“The JEDCO incubator program has graduated nearly 200 companies which continue to thrive and have created more than 7,500 jobs.  The Business Innovation Center is the catalyst many local companies need to build on their foundation for success,” said Jefferson Parish President John Young.

The Business Innovation Center is based on the success of the original Enterprise Center which nurtured technology startups such as Reliagene, a DNA and forensic testing lab which created over 75 new jobs and recently sold to Orchid Cellmark.

“Our goal is to enable companies with high growth profiles to realize their potential. The Innovation Center helps local businesses grow from the ground up,” Gunter said.

Interested companies can submit a brief overview for review by the Business Innovation Center advisory board. Applications can be accessed at http://www.jedco.org/business-incubator or by calling 504-833-1881.