Nine early-stage startups across Louisiana recently graduated from the VILLAGEx accelerator program, and a subset of them brought in a combined $9.5 million in funding.
For Jon Atkinson, CEO of The Idea Village, it shows the momentum of the Louisiana tech ecosystem. “Startup founders are a highly adaptable breed of humans, and the pandemic certainly put that quality to the test. Almost every startup in this cohort has a remarkable story of overcoming adversity in the last 14 months and is a sign of belief that resilience is in the capital raised by these founders. We were especially excited to see investment leadership from funds in the region, which demonstrates the growth and maturity of our region’s startup community.”
Tech-focused or tech-enabled startups in the recent VILLAGEx cohort include:
- Bloks, a no-code software for building app-based marketplaces
- Something Borrowed Blooms, a rent-and-return online floral shop specializing in silk wedding flowers. The team raised a $1.4 million venture round in May 2021, according to Crunchbase.
- Skilltype, a talent management software for library professionals
- hampr, an app-based marketplace for on-demand laundry
- Kinemagic, which decreases costs for heavy industrial projects through virtual reality environments,
- BypassLines, an on-site mobile ordering platform for food, hospitality and retail,
- HookM Solutions, a fishing charter booking and management app
- Spot2Night, a platform for finding and booking an RV camping spot.
El Guapo Bitters, a cocktail bitters, syrups, and mixers startup, rounded out the cohort.
The 9 startups also created a combined 80 active jobs to date in the area.
“Our accelerator thrives because it serves as a center of gravity for founders, investors, and industry experts across the country that want to see south Louisiana-based startups succeed,” Atkinson told Hypepotamus. “Bringing the startup community together to support founders at every stage is crucial to having a successful local economy.”
“While the pandemic forced an exclusively virtual experience for much of this accelerator, it also encouraged The Idea Village team to think creatively beyond geographic barriers,” added Atkinson. “We do not take for granted how impactful getting everyone in a room can be, and moving forward, we will continue to bring more intentionality and hybrid options to our programs moving forward, and we’ll continue to find innovative ways of plugging in experts from around the country to better meet the accelerator cohort’s needs.”