New Orleans, Baton Rouge area Business Briefs for June 13, 2021 | Business News

Nine startups complete accelerator program

Nine startup companies recently completed The Idea Village’s accelerator program, raising over $9.5 million in capital while generating over $2.5 million in annual revenue and enabling the creation of more than 80 jobs.

The Idea Village also announced that the nonprofit has completed a $1.8 million campaign supported by local and national philanthropists to fund the VILLAGEx program for three years.

VILLAGEx is a 16-week cohort-based accelerator program for high-growth startups with innovative, technology-focused business models that are building scalable new enterprises in New Orleans and its surrounding regions.

The recent cohort included 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; Skilltype, a talent management software for library professionals; and hampr, an app-based marketplace for on-demand laundry; Kinemagic, which decreases costs for heavy industrial projects through virtual reality environments; El Guapo Bitters, which creates cocktail bitters, syrups and mixers; BypassLines, an on-site mobile ordering platform for food, hospitality and retail; HookM Solutions, a fishing charter booking and management app; and Spot2Night, a platform for finding and booking an RV camping spot.

The mentor-driven accelerator program concluded with over 325 hours of mentorship provided by a network of entrepreneurs, investors and industry leaders. Ventures in the VILLAGEx program also raised capital from angel investors, seed funds and venture capital funds to drive growth.

“The founders from these nine companies are true representations of the possibilities within our region, as we’ve seen them grow tremendously over such a short period of time and raise the kind of capital that is often overlooked in the Gulf South,” said Soumitra Sengupta, lead entrepreneur-in-residence for VILLAGEx 2021.

Information on The Idea Village and its VILLAGEx program can be found at

Regions opens in Clearview City Center

Regions Bank has opened a branch on Veterans Boulevard at the northeast end of the Clearview City Center, the former Clearview Mall site that is being redeveloped into a mixed-use shopping, residential and medical hub.

The branch, which replaces Regions’ former Cleary and Veterans boulevard facilities, houses financial professionals offering customized advice, guidance and education, along with updated technology and digital services.

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“Regions believes in an ‘omni-channel’ approach to banking. That is, we’re offering innovative digital services — while still placing a premium on local service from local professionals who take the time to understand our customers’ needs,” said Graham Ralston, Regions Bank’s market executive for Greater New Orleans.

Among its technology features, the branch offers drive-up and walk-up two-way video banking ATM services that offer expanded hours, including evenings, weekends and holidays. The location also includes drive-up and walk-up DepositSmart ATMs that can be used to withdraw cash or make deposits of checks or cash at any time.

Winn-Dixie remodels Slidell, Prairieville stores

Winn-Dixie has completed remodeling two of its Louisiana stores, located at 2985 E. Gause Blvd. in Slidell and 17682 Airline Highway in Prairieville.

The completions mark 15 Louisiana store investments made in less than four years by Southeastern Grocers, Winn-Dixie’s parent company.

The remodeled Louisiana stores are designed to provide a wider selection of homegrown products, with additional jobs and opportunities. Improvements include new façade signage, color palette and modern store signage inside; updated farm-fresh produce department, including organic varieties; a deli with expanded grab-and-go meal options; updated full-service seafood department; in-store pharmacy; and an expanded wine and craft beer selection.

Winn-Dixie has operated in Louisiana since 1956 and now has 29 stores, employing more than 3,000. 

NexusLA holding marketing seminar

Entrepreneur support organization NexusLA in Baton Rouge is holding a Tech Park Academy virtual lesson on marketing at 11:30 a.m. June 17.

Topics for “Why Buy? A Marketing Lesson” will include identifying marketing disruptors; developing a marketing strategy and consistent message; measuring the impact of marketing and deciding whether to keep it in-house or leverage an agency; and understanding the importance of digital key performance indicators. 

Tips are being shared by Holly Hingle, vice president of operations at Click Here Digital. Registration is at

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