The Tulane Innovation Institute will launch operations from its downtown headquarters later this year, thanks to several generous lead gifts from forward-thinking philanthropists. Like the nascent technologies and startups it seeks to invigorate, the multi-million-dollar, long-term project to transform the university’s entrepreneurial capabilities is attracting interest from expert investors who recognize its powerful potential.
The institute’s top mission will be to act as a combined technology and startup accelerator for university faculty, researchers, staff, and students as well as community members. As the institute’s primary engine, the Robert L. Priddy Innovation Lab will drive its commercialization efforts by providing proof-of-concept and early-stage startup gap funding for aspiring entrepreneurs and promising technologies. The lab also will provide a mentorship network featuring entrepreneurs-in-residence, de-risking expertise, and administrative, budgetary, marketing and branding support.
In partnership with the university’s existing academic units across disciplines, its second major focus will be on producing educational and experiential programming in order to energize and cultivate an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset and culture on campus that helps foster startup enterprises and technologies with commercial potential.
Its third priority, in concert with likeminded organizations across the city and region, will be to engage with and vitalize the innovation and startup communities in New Orleans, the state and the region. The institute will serve as a gathering place and strategic partner that offers support services and programming for their entrepreneurial endeavors.