Dig Baton Rouge

BREWing Innovation

By Nick BeJeaux


Baton Rouge is a city that is acutely aware of it’s strengths and weaknesses and has been working very hard to boost the former and overcome the latter; especially by highlighting and supporting the influx of innovators into its city limits.

Baton Rouge Entrepreneur Week is the celebration of that influx. BREW 2014 will begin on Nov. 17 and end on Friday, and every day entrepreneurs and innovators in and around the Baton Rouge area will have plenty of events and opportunities to come together to learn, teach, play and show off. Below is the complete list of BREW events. Registration can be completed at www.celebratebrew.com.


Monday, Nov. 17


Creating Your Business Plan Workshop

This six-hour workshop will help you quickly create an effective business plan, including cash flow projections. It will take place at the University of Phoenix, 4th Floor, 2431 South Acadian Thruway from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration costs $99 per person, which includes online software and a workbook. The workshop is hosted by SCORE Baton Rouge.


Tuesday, Nov. 18


BRAC’s Economic Outlook

This is where the Baton Rouge Area Chamber will present its Capital Region economic outlook of the next one to three years. City Club will be hosting the conference 7:30 to 9:30 a.m., and it is free to the public.


The Business of Social Innovation

Solid Ground Innovations is hosting this panel discussion designed to explore ways organizations and businesses are infusing social innovation into their business model that not only impacts the way they do business, but also the communities around them. Solid Ground Innovations is located at 4242 Government Street. The discussion is at 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and registration is free of charge.


What Big Brands Know: Simple, Powerful Strategies to Ignite Growth in Your Business

A one-time marketing executive at four billion-dollar brands, nationally recognized speaker Gerry O’Brion talks big marketing for all businesses. O’Brion will discuss simple, powerful strategies to increase sales and ignite word of mouth for their products and services, along with five critical steps to attracting more of their ideal customers. O’Brion will give his talk at the L’Auberge Casino & Hotel’s Grand Ballroom at 7:00 a.m. Tickets cost $40 in advance and $50 at the door


Junior Achievement Pitch Event: A Youth Entrepreneurial Program & Competition

One for the kids, this is “an innovative youth entrepreneurial program teaching high school students entrepreneurial skills” according to BREW’s website.

It will be hosted at the LABI Office at 3113 Valley Creek Dr starting at 9:30 a.m. Registration is free, but donations to support JA programs are encouraged.



LSU’s Annual 90-Second Student Pitch Competition

Here, college students pitch their business ideas to local entrepreneurs and faculty judges. The top three contestants qualify for a chance to win an iPad Mini and other great prizes.

“We have seen a wide array of pitches in the last three years. Everything from gun holsters to food trucks to apps,” said Kenny Anderson, Student Incubator Manager at the Louisiana Business & Technology Center.

The competition is open to current LSU students only and will be held at the Business Residential Complex, Louisiana State University, Nicholson Extension, Classroom 1420. The doors open at 6:00 p.m.


Simple Steps for Starting Your Business

Learn and review the basics of what is necessary to start your own business. Learn from the experts – those who have the experience and knowledge to help you quick-start your business. This will be held East Baton Rouge Main Branch Library, Goodwood Boulevard, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Admission is free of charge.



Wednesday, Nov. 19


BRAC’s Big Think

This event will showcase and celebrate innovation and entrepreneurship in the Capital Region. The day-long program, filled with a variety of activities, will culminate with an awards ceremony called Companies to Watch, modeled after the nationally recognized program by the Edward Lowe Foundation, through which stage-two companies from the nine-parish region will be honored. It will be at the Manship Theatre at Shaw Center for the Arts from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.


Companies to Watch

Big Think will conclude with a celebration and awards ceremony focusing on second-stage companies. One second-stage company from each of the nine parishes within the region will be recognized through the Edward Lowe Foundation Companies to Watch Award. It will begin at 4:30 p.m. in the Manship Theatre.


BREW Pitch Night

Selected start-up companies will have two minutes to pitch their innovative ideas to a panel of experts. Starts at 7 p.m. in the Manship Theatre at Shaw Center for the Arts.



Thursday, Nov. 20


The Positively Powerful Women’s Morning

A morning dedicated to inspiring the greatness within you. Three internationally experienced speakers will engage, educate, and energize you through the positive approach. Will be hosted by Melinda Stallings Lod Cook Alumni Center at LSU from 8:00 a.m. to noon. Single tickets are $65, a Table of 10  is $550, and Student tickets cost $25


Entrepreneurs’ Organization Louisiana’s EO24 Luncheon

Join EO Louisiana and listen to Louisiana-based entrepreneurs, Laurie Aronson, President and CEO of Lipsey’s and Haspel Clothing; Tom Martin, Executive VP and COO of Pod Pack International; and Erik Frank, CEO of Your Nutrition Delivered. Begins at 11:30 a.m. at Lipsey’s, on 7277 Exchequer Drive. Admission is free for EO Louisiana Members and $25 for guests.




What To Do When the Bank Tells You No

A round table discussion featuring Chris Reid and David Cortez at The Lyceum Ballroom in Downtown Baton Rouge. It begins at 3 p.m. and admission is free.


Successful Media for the Entrepreneur

Will be held at the East Baton Rouge Main Branch Library on Goodwood Boulevard.  The discussion is targeted at beginner-to-comfortable small-business marketers who are looking to build their marketing knowledge, or to reinforce what it is they already know about social media. It begins at 6:00 p.m. and admission is free.


Friday, Nov. 21


LSU’s Breakfast to Business: My Entrepreneurship Journey

Featuring Monique Breaux, Principal Designer with POSH Exclusive Interiors, William McGehee, Founder of Tin Roof Brewing Co., Caryn W. Roland, Owner of Heirloom Cuisine, LLC, and Kolby Tullier, Owner of Body Mechanics Training.  Will be held at the LSU Business Education Complex, Room 1615 at 7:30 a.m.


Creative Louisiana

Wendy Overton presents a special entrepreneurship edition of Creative Louisiana, featuring Jim Odom, founder and chief strategy officer of PreSonus.

Will be held at the Baton Rouge Gallery, 1515 Dalrymple Drive at 8:30 a.m. Admission is free.



2nd Annual Mission Possible Leadership Conference

This year’s conference will focus on “Battle Tested Leadership,” and will feature pancreatic cancer survivor, Councilwoman Ronnie Edwards; John C. Maxwell speaker, Tronn Moller; Vistage coach and accountant, Meredith Eicher; publicity guru, Havilah Malone; business coach and author, Howard White and several other thought leaders. It will be hosted Southern University Global Conference Center, T.T. Allain Hall from  9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. by Councilwoman Ronnie Edwards, Good Work Network, Banks Consulting, and Southern University College of Business. Tickets cost $20 in advance and $25 at the door.


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