Centenary joins local business schools, BRF in new angel investment fund

SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary will be one of six North Louisiana institutions to partner with the New Louisiana Angel Fund 2 (NLAF 2), a $3 million angel investment fund made up of about 60 accredited angel investors or entities. The partnership opens opportunities for students and faculty members at the College’s Frost School of Business to gain hands-on experience in entrepreneurship, investment in private entities, technology transfer, and innovative startup activity.

Shreveport’s Biomedical Research Foundation (BRF), an economic development organization specializing in high-growth initiatives, is the managing member of NLAF 2. BRF provided a total of $75,000 for six North Louisiana institutions with business schools to become members of the fund. Centenary joins the LSU Shreveport Foundation, the Louisiana Tech University Foundation, the University of Louisiana at Monroe Foundation, the Grambling State University Foundation, and the Northwestern State University Foundation as a partner in NLAF 2.

“With this NLAF 2 partnership we hope to open the world of investing and entrepreneurship to promising students in North Louisiana, who we believe will become active entrepreneurs or supporters of the startup community in North Louisiana,” said John F. George Jr., M.D., President and CEO of BRF. “Investing in a knowledge-based economy while at the same time diversifying our region’s economy through the launch of innovative, high-growth startups is a win-win for BRF, North Louisiana, and our partner universities.”

Centenary’s business students will be invited to participate in the rigorous due diligence process followed by NLAF 2’s investors as they evaluate and make investment decisions about funding startups in North Louisiana. Students at the Frost School already have the opportunity for hands-on training in finance and investment management through the College’s Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) and a series of investment courses.

“We are excited to be able to add an entrepreneurship component to our SMIF program as well as to join this effort to support startups in our area,” said Centenary president Dr. Christopher L. Holoman. “We are grateful for the support from BRF that made this possible.”

NLAF 2 is the second fund of its kind to be launched by BRF. The New Louisiana Angel Fund 1 (NLAF 1), launched in 2015 at $2.6 million, has funded 12 North Louisiana-based high-growth startups. The connection between NLAF 2 and local colleges and universities mirrors a trend among the Angel Capital Association’s (ACA) 260 member groups, more than 40 of whom have a similar connection to a partner university. Examples include the Duke Angel Network, the Harvard Business Alumni Angels of Greater New York, and Notre Dame’s Irish Angels.

“Ultimately our goal is to provide an invaluable opportunity for our local colleges of business to become more knowledgeable, involved ,and supportive of the entrepreneur ecosystem that NLAF and others are building and promoting in this region,” said George.