SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The 2016 Louisiana StartUp Prize officially kicked off Tuesday. Entrepreneurs compete to test their business, and possibly walk away with $70,000 in cash and services.
Biomedical research company Innolyzer Labs was the winner of last year's Louisiana StartUp Prize, and now they have a lab right here in Shreveport.
"We focus on the detection of hydrogen sulfide in liquid samples," said CEO John Chidlow.
Simply put, they are doing research that could be beneficial to your health someday.
"Well, sulfide is important to everybody. It's naturally occurring in the body, and it's involved in different disease states as well as your normal physiology. So we're hoping better sulfide detection will lead to better health care," he said.
In a year's time, they have gone from working out of Chidlow's home to having a full blown lab to actually developing a prototype that may cut the time it takes to test for the chemical. They credit part of their success to the StartUp prize.
"You get to meet some awesome entrepreneurs, and make new contacts. It really helps everybody who's involved to get a better idea of what they need, and find people who can provide what they need," said Chidlow.
He encourages anyone looking into starting a business to look into the StartUp Prize.
"No matter what business you're in or what your idea is you should participate. It's a cheap ticket. It's easy. It's fun, and there's a lot of great people," he said.
He also says events like these are important for the community because it's keeps businesses local.
"Keeps younger people here, brings people back to town, brings in new business, provides a space where you can grow your business. All of this is great for our local economy on every level."
Innolyzer says they may one day expand into helping the oil and gas industry with their products as well.