Today I had a great conversation with someone from my hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I believe there are some first-rate tech entrepreneurs back home who could go far with the right help. This person made me aware of a fund in Baton Rouge that was created to invest in early-stage tech companies. One of its portfolio companies is now publicly traded on the stock market. (An early-stage company achieving an IPO is a huge achievement.)
Today highlighted to me that there’s an awareness problem. It’s difficult for aspiring entrepreneurs to be connected with helpful resources if they don’t know about them. I was excited to learn of this organization in my hometown, but I couldn’t help but wonder why I’d never heard of it before. Since I hadn’t, I’m sure there are entrepreneurs who also haven’t heard of it because they lack the relationships that would have made the connection for them. To be fair, this problem is common in lots of ecosystem, not just Baton Rouge. I see it in Atlanta all the time. Lack of awareness and relationship gaps are high hurdles that can slow entrepreneurs’ progress.
I’m looking forward to getting to know more about the startup scene in Baton Rouge and a variety of other cities in the Southeast. I’m confident that there are brilliant entrepreneurs with interesting ideas who just need a few doors opened for them. I hope I can be the person who does that for some of them!