Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business released the results of the 2019 Greater New Orleans Startup Report, the first comprehensive overview of the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Working with 22 economic development groups and community organizations, Freeman’s Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation surveyed more than 200 local startup-stage companies for the 60-page report, which aims to become the benchmark for tracking entrepreneurial activity in New Orleans.
"For the very first time, we now have ecosystem-wide data that should offer new insights on revenue and hiring needs and provide clues as to what it will take to help our companies grow.”
Rob Lalka, Lepage Center executive director
For years, the surge in entrepreneurship in New Orleans has been a widely repeated narrative of the city’s post-Katrina rebirth. Yet, aside from anecdotal information about individual successes, there has been scant data behind the trend.
“This report will help us understand the health and well-being of our startup ecosystem in a rigorous, data-driven way,” said Rob Lalka, Lepage Center executive director. “For the very first time, we now have ecosystem-wide data that should offer new insights on revenue and hiring needs and provide clues as to what it will take to help our companies grow.”
The report detailsthe size of the city’s average startup, industry sectors represented, founders’ demographics, revenue information for the past two years and estimates for 2019, number of employees, whether they are growing, if they are seeking investment, where they received funding, workspace needs and much more.
To participate in the study, companies had to be located in the Greater New Orleans region with revenue less than $60 million and have been in existence less than five years or self-identify as participating in the region’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Lalka hopes the Greater New Orleans Startup Report will help officials track trends in the startup economy and whether new companies are growing or if they face common challenges.
“Over the next several years, we will be able to track whether we're getting healthier or whether we're getting sicker,” Lalka said. “And we can do that with this data over multiple industries and multiple geographies. We can track even granular information about whether companies are raising venture capital, self-financing or getting bank loans and other measures of financial well-being. That's very exciting as someone who cares about the ecosystem, and also as someone who wants us to be honest about where we stand — and where we need to go.”