Lafayette, Louisiana: A Hub Of Innovation And Business Excellence
Located midway between Houston and New Orleans at the crossroads of Interstates 10 and 49, Lafayette, LA offers a pro-business climate, talent-producing universities, and a family-focused small-town feel making Lafayette and the surrounding region a hot spot for business and talent.
The business base of Lafayette Parish (county) includes manufacturing; healthcare; oilfield services; logistics; information technology; and other service-related industries. Lafayette is home to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, a Carnegie R1 designated research institution, and South Louisiana Community College (SLCC), an Aspen Top 150 community college. The resilience of Lafayette’s economy is attributed to its entrepreneurial spirit and its people who embrace a strong work ethic. With this foundation, Lafayette fosters an economy that supports thriving and diverse industry sectors.
Driven by Cajun and Creole ingenuity and creativity and known for its wildcatter mentality, the entrepreneurial spirit thrives in Lafayette Parish. This is demonstrated by endeavors such as the creation of the nation’s first Masters of Science program in computer science at UL Lafayette in the 1960s, the launch of a municipally owned fiber network (LUS Fiber) in 2005, the many technological innovations in the oil & gas and healthcare industries that were developed in Lafayette, and most recently, UL Lafayette’s achievement of the Carnegie R1 designation.
Community assets such as the Opportunity Machine, Lafayette’s business incubator and accelerator, provide 360-degree support for innovators through its accelerator program, The Builder Program, educational programming such as the DIY Marketing Series, mentoring opportunities, and pitch competitions. The OM has connected dozens of businesses to local investors through Acadiana Angels and Acadiana Capital Ventures, as well as national VC firms. OM startups have raised over $56 million in capital investments since 2015, with $12 million of that being raised since the start of 2023. OM plans to rapidly increase the number of capital investments made within the Lafayette startup community with additional capital resources and partnerships in the works. Additionally, the State of Louisiana offers a robust 25% tax credit to individual investors who invest in early stage, wealth-creating businesses that seek startup and expansion capital through the Angel Investor Tax Credit.
Collaboration and innovation are paramount in Lafayette, as demonstrated by the partnership between global tech leader CGI and UL Lafayette. This partnership was crucial in securing CGI’s commitment to Lafayette. CGI and the university created a new degree program, collaborated on curriculum development, and launched the state’s first Master of Science degree in Informatics. They also launched CGI’s Project Based Learning Program, an initiative that offers real-world learning experiences for UL Lafayette’s Computer Science and Informatics students. This partnership, along with SLCC’s 2+2 transfer agreement for Software Application Development, has helped CGI create more than 700 jobs at its U.S. Onshore Delivery Center in Lafayette.
The Lafayette Economic Development Authority provides support to existing and prospective new businesses and startups that are looking for a low-cost, high quality of life place to do business. LEDA can offer competitive local incentives to complement highly competitive state-level jobs and capital investment incentives.
Visit LooktoLafayette.com for more information.