Research Park Corp. and affiliated organizations that include a technology business incubator and venture fund posted a total economic impact of $196 million in 2016, generated 3,100 direct and indirect jobs with a payroll of more than $83 million, officials said Thursday.
State and local tax collections from those companies and jobs amounted to $11.2 million, Research Park Chief Executive Officer Byron Clayton said during the organization’s board meeting.
“What economists do is they look at total economic impact, so it’s not only the direct impact from the companies themselves but how that ripples through the economy,” Clayton told board members.
Tenants and graduates of the Louisiana Technology Park incubator in Baton Rouge had $12.2 million in sales, $7.7 million in payroll and paid $6.65 million in state and local taxes in 2016, Clayton said. Research Park received $1.15 million in revenue from the local lodging tax, so for every tax dollar received the nonprofit generated about $6 worth of economic impact.
A number of the tech incubator’s tenants have graduated and moved outside the region or the state, but those numbers were not included, Clayton said.
Other highlights of the upcoming annual report included:
• Winning two U.S. Economic Development Administration grants worth $530,000. Research Park competed in a five-state region for one grant and nationally against 200 to 300 other applicants for the other. “That speaks volumes about where we are and how our ideas are viewed nationally, so that was a huge win for us,” Clayton said.
Of the total, $300,000 will go to other economic development organizations in the region, he said. It’s part of Research Park’s effort to share the wealth.
Nearly $1 million in federal grants have been awarded to the LSU Industrial Innovation Cente…
• Providing grants of $1.2 million to the Innovation Catalyst fund and $125,000 to the Louisiana Small Business Rebirth Fund. The latter awarded grants to businesses damaged by the August flood.
Under new CEO Louis Freeman, Innovation Catalyst has invested twice as much in startups in half the time as it had previously, Clayton said. Since Freeman took over in February 2016, the fund invested about $1 million in Louisiana companies.
• Establishing NexusLA, an online portal that makes it easier for entrepreneurs to find resources, opportunities and solutions. The portal lists over 400 capital resource providers within a 75-mile radius.
• Helping improve Baton Rouge Entrepreneurship Week. The biggest thing was coordinating the efforts of 21 different organizations through BREW Crew.
• Launching the Bayou Classic BizTech Challenge. Students from the state’s six historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs, competed for more than $30,000 in cash and other prizes. In the 2016 competition, students had to develop a working prototype of a tech solution that improve small business recovery efforts following natural disasters.
Clayton said the event’s success resulted in a couple of other organizations asking Research Park to put on similar events.