At Launch Pad, we are passionate about helping entrepreneurs develop as leaders and succeed and we’re proud to announce the continued growth of the mentorship-based programs at Launch Pad. Next year, we will be integrating Launch Pad and Launch Pad Ignition in an expanded approach to work with the entrepreneurs of our community.
OPEN & INTEGRATED
We’re extending the curriculum, mentors, and network that we developed for the Launch Pad Ignition accelerator program to an open approach that focuses resources on all Launch Pad members, founders in our community, and companies launching in the region. We’re exchanging the standardized slice of equity model for a more natural approach where we’ll be investing as angels in companies we love.
Access to our mentor network for Launch Pad Ignition will be more available than ever to all Launch Pad members and companies in the region. Members will get free access to an expanded slate of mentor events and there will be a nominal fee for Skillshare classes for non-members.
We’re merging classes we already run at Launch Pad with Launch Pad Ignition’s lean startup curriculum, meaning more classes and community events like Hack night, meetup groups, and hackathons alongside mentor sessions that happen on a year-round basis.
Core to our philosophy is the importance of connecting founders in New Orleans to the broad network we’ve built of investors, mentors, customers and partners around the world, specifically in New York and the Bay Area. We will build upon our annual presence at important startup events like SXSW, and our pitch events in New York and at 500 Startups in Silicon Valley.
We’ll continue to expand upon our role in the ecosystem as the conduit to investment capital outside the region alongside educating and catalyzing angel investment locally.
We are focused on ecosystem alignment, not overlap. The entrepreneurial season created by Idea Village and culminating at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week in March has emerged as a powerful institution. We’re focusing on strengthening the post-season that provides a platform for the best companies to pitch to a national network of investors at Launch Fest, the Louisiana demo day, in May.
In the spirit of alignment, we no longer will run Launch Pad Ignition as an accelerator program, we’re encouraging founders to apply for the Idea Village IDEAxcelerator (apply by 8/27) for the formal mentorship and curriculum provided by an accelerator program.
We’re also already collaborating with 4.0 Schools in a continuation of the sector focus that has emerged in New Orleans and will continue to expand that effort.
For three years, we’ve hosted Launch Fest as an investor-focused event where Launch Pad Ignition companies pitch to local angels and national early-stage investors. Going forward, we’re opening up the event to qualified companies raising investment capital that have local investment in a current round. We’ll continue to expand our angel investor luncheon to build on our mission of educating and catalyzing the local angel community. We’ll cement Launch Fest as the reason investors come to New Orleans during Jazz Fest and deals get done.
We’re excited about this next phase for Launch Pad and the entrepreneurs of our community.
- Chris, Peter, Barre, Will, Katy