Acadiana is known for its pride and love for locally-owned businesses and If you’ve tried Ragin’ Cajun Genuine Louisiana Ale, Then you’ve experienced the work from one of the winners at Thursday’s Entrepreneur and Technology Summit held at the Cajundome Convention Center. Karlos Knot, President and Brew Master of Bayou Teche Brewery Located in St. Martin Parish was one of the four local businesses that were recognized by Innov8 Acadiana.
Karlos tells us what makes his beer so unique is that it’s infused with the Cajun and Creole culture and made from French and Belgium Grains and Hops. He added that he’s also very excited for being honored in his hometown.
Innov8 Acadiana is all about recognizing Acadiana’s entrepreneurs and connecting them with mentors, investors, and leaders. The goal is to help move the local businesses forward and also create a healthy local economy.
Peter Prados, Director of Innov8 says he is most excited for the winners because “They get to breath and be honored for what they are doing which is creating jobs and new opportunities for wealth in our region.” Prados also went on to add that Acadiana is full of entrepreneurs, “Everybody has a great idea, so what do you do with it? So that’s what we are trying to celebrate is to help people who have those great ideas get to the next step.”
Another winner comes from Vermilion Parish. Shawn Switzer runs Louisiana Bait Products, a business that specializes in distributing crawfish bait known as “Pogey”. “We’re South of Abbeville, kind of in the middle of nowhere so it’s nice that someone was thinking of us””
ABiz Magazine is also recognizing two businesses for their community involvement. One of the awards is honoring Jillian Johnson, a young entrepreneur who was a victim in the Grand Theater shooting.
Cherry Fisher May, Publisher of ABiz says, “Jillian was such a leader in the creative economy here. She was a music producer and music performer and ran a successful business here along with her husband Jason Brown. So we asked Jason what we can do to help memorialize Jillian so we created this year the Jillian Johnson Award for Entrepreneurship in the Creative Economy.”
The luncheon was just the beginning. Innov8 Acadiana continues through Saturday with many activities, like a pitch event of new business ideas, Technology Day with a career fair, a Cajun Code Fest, A talk about diabetes, and over 20 guest speakers.
You can check out Innov8 The Plate in Downtown Lafayette Friday and Saturday where Pamplona, Agave, Jefferson Street Pub, Tsunami, and Legends will feature specials on their menus and comedian Brooks Wheeler of Saturday Night Live will offer some laughs at Nite Town. Tickets are going quickly.