Wednesday, 11 July 2012 13:11

Louisiana Business: Idea Village, Nicholls St, Commissioner Strain backs Farm Bill

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louisianaIdea Village in New Orleans has announced today that Registration for the 2013 Entrepreneur Season is now open! All New Orleans-based entrepreneurs looking to accelerate the growth of their startup ventures are invited to register at to access free business resources.

Last year, the 2012 Season showcased the incredible growth of New Orleans’ entrepreneurial ecosystem that has catalyzed New Orleans entrepreneurial activity to be 40% above the national average. Checkout this video to see all the action!

From now through March 2013, the 2013 Entrepreneur Season will connect over 1,000 New Orleans entrepreneurs with 3,000 professionals, MBAs, investors, economic development and corporate leaders as well as global luminaries who will deliver direct support by providing strategic consulting, seed capital, and in-kind resources through over 90 unique events in Downtown New Orleans.

Entrepreneurs can tap into this powerful ecosystem of supporters through The Idea Village’s many program offerings including:  

IDEAinstitute - the entrepreneur education program comprised of entrepreneur training workshops, roundtable discussions, and a keynote speaker series. IDEAinstitute sessions are free and open to all entrepreneurs registered with The Idea Village.

IDEAxcelerator - the intensive six-month business accelerator program for 15-20 high growth ventures that is customized to each entrepreneur’s needs and includes setting operational goals, providing business strategy, marketing support, and financial guidance. The application process for IDEAxcelerator is highly competitive and is open until 11:59pm CT on Monday, August 27, 2012. 

IDEAsessions - one-on-one, two hour brainstorms with The Idea Village’s seasoned Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, designed to provide strategic guidance around a specific business challenge or assistance to help entrepreneurs develop, refine, and strengthen their investor pitches.

Capital Village - Idea Village-managed capital access opportunities for equity, grants, and debt.

IDEAevents - events during the Season that connect and celebrate the entrepreneurial community.

The 2013 Season will culminate in the fifth annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW), March 16-22, 2013.

Click here to register for entrepreneur services.

Nicholls State University

Dr. Shawn Mauldin, dean of the College of Business Administration at Nicholls State University and Arlen B. Cenac Jr. endowed chair in accounting, has been named president of the Society of Louisiana Certified Public Accountants (LCPA) for 2012-13.

Mauldin has produced and delivered more than 90 academic and practitioner articles and presentations. He received the LCPA’s Lifetime Achievement in Accounting Education award in 2005, recognizing his accomplishments as an educator and accounting professional. The Thibodaux CPA is also a past president of the LCPA’s south central chapter.

He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration with an emphasis in accounting from Nicholls State University and a doctorate in accounting from the University of Mississippi.

Mauldin is also a certified financial planner, chartered global management accountant and a certified management accountant. In the community, he has served on the boards of the South Louisiana Economic Council, Terrebonne Economic Development Authority and Bayou Area Habitat for Humanity. Mauldin is a member of the Thibodaux Rotary Club, Thibodaux Chamber of Commerce and the South Central Industrial Association Workforce Development Committee.

The LCPA, founded in 1911, is a non-profit, professional association of more than 6,300 CPAs statewide. For details, go to

Strain supports House Ag Committee’s Farm Bill proposal

            Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., praised Chairman Frank Lucas of Oklahoma and Ranking Member Collin Peterson of Minnesota for crafting a bipartisan Farm Bill that works for Louisiana farmers and ranchers.

            “I commend the House Agriculture Committee for recognizing that Southern agriculture is unique and farm policy must be tailored to benefit all agricultural commodities throughout the country,” Strain said.

            Strain recently met with the state’s Congressional delegation and House Agriculture Committee and staff members in Washington, D.C. to discuss the Farm Bill.

“We brought our concerns to the table and worked on solutions that make sense for Louisiana farmers," Strain said. "The proposed legislation now creates a balanced approach for both Louisiana producers and the entire Southern region.”

            Strain said the draft includes key provisions for rice and other commodities that provide a proper safety net for Louisiana farmers and producers throughout the South.

“While direct payments may now be a thing of the past, the proposed legislation provides effective and fair policies to enable Louisiana farmers and ranchers to continue to supply us with safe and affordable food and fiber.”
            The bill seeks to reform, streamline and consolidate numerous programs, and reduce the federal deficit by $35 billion. The proposed legislation creates two risk-based management tools only intended when a producer suffers a significant loss.

            The bill also includes an extension of the U.S. Sugar Program, which is vital to Louisiana sugarcane growers, and it creates a new risk management program called the Stacked Income Protection Plan or STAX, for cotton producers. It also expands the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition program to benefit not only low-income seniors but also provide low-income families access to fresh fruits and vegetables through coupons that can be exchanged for eligible foods at farmers markets.

            Strain said he looks forward to continuing dialog with both the House Agriculture Committee and our state’s Congressional delegation.



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