Goals of the Small Business Incubator
The SUNO Small Business Incubator program is an example of the convergence of the SUNO mission with Louisiana Workforce and Economic Development initiatives. The vision of the SUNO Small Business Incubator program is to develop a unique but vitally necessary collaboration between the College of Business & Public Administration (CBA) and the community that seeks to develop small businesses that operate in and service the cultural economy and the media arts industries of music and film production. The overarching goals are to develop small businesses, provide SUNO students industry access to training and mentors, create employment opportunities, establish and cultivate a thriving entertainment business infrastructure, and take advantage of the entertainment industry tax incentives in Louisiana.
Our Plan - The SUNO College of Business & Public Administration sees itself as the place to produce entrepreneurs who could change the region through engagement, innovation, and creativity. However, given the background of the student population that we serve, growing the entrepreneurial program has been a challenge as graduates lack both industry-specific experience and adequate capital to implement their vision upon graduation. Sensing the growing entertainment industry in Louisiana in general and the New Orleans Metro Area in particular, the CBA, in collaboration with the SBDMI staff, began to look for opportunities to expose CBA students to entertainment industry-based business opportunities, including IT, storytelling, marketing, project management, accounting, HR, regulatory compliance, etc.
Our initial approach to entering the entertainment (culture and media arts) industry was to include two studios (movie and music editing rooms) in the construction plan of the Small Business Incubator Building, in pursuit of the saying “if you build it, they will come.” The plan was to attract companies and individuals in the media arts industry to the incubator building and eventually leverage the tenancy as a mentoring and career-building bridge for students and faculty to acquire the knowledge and skills required to succeed as entrepreneurs in the entertainment-business industry. The vision is to incubate in the building a series of interconnected businesses that offer a comprehensive tapestry of expertise, industry contacts, technology, marketing heft, co-curricular development, internships, mentoring, and a potential long term stream of income, when fully implemented.