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Kick Off National Entrepreneur Month at Opportunity Machine Innovation Conference

Kick Off National Entrepreneur Month at Opportunity Machine Innovation Conference

Entrepreneurs, startup founders and small business owners from across Louisiana will come together at the Opportunity Machine Innovation Conference (OMIC) to kick off National Entrepreneur Month. OMIC is a three-day series of networking events, panel discussions, pitch competitions, educational sessions and keynote presentations that highlight innovation, creativity and forward thinking in business. OMIC takes place November 1-3 at LITE, 537 Cajundome Blvd.


“This year, the OM Innovation Conference has expanded from an exposition-style event to a

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Local App Serving Up Specials

Local App Serving Up Specials

After a year of testing their app, experimenting with different ways to produce income, bringing on coders and going through a business boot camp, tech entrepreneurs Thomas Trahan and Gerald Huffman have rolled out their creation, PLATE, to the public.

PLATE is an app designed to let budget-conscious consumers – so far, mostly college students – look at their phones to know which restaurants and bars are offering the most appealing specials. The app is free and can be downloaded to both iPhone and

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Lafayette Poised for Vibrant Tech Industry

Lafayette Poised for Vibrant Tech Industry

Waitr executives Chris Meaux, Sonny Mayugba, and Jeff Bolante have a good feel for what Lafayette needs to take Acadiana’s tech sector to higher levels.

All three have spent their working lives in the tech world — which involves specialized workers who command a generous salary and can find employment just about anywhere. Though the range of tech workers’ wants and needs is wide, there are constants that apply to a large majority, such as:

  • Vibrant urban living, such as downtown, where there are hip places to live, eat, and attend community festivals and other

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Lafayette Drone Company Helping to Move Local Industries Into a New Age

Lafayette Drone Company Helping to Move Local Industries Into a New Age

Dacoda Bartels' dexterity in pursuing business opportunities is as impressive as his nimble manipulation of helicopters and drones.

At just 30, Bartels has already sold part of his company — Aerobotics Energy Group LLC, which operates unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) — to a world-class group of companies headed by the Chouest family.

Bartels is now looking at unlimited possibilities as part of a Louisiana-based conglomerate. Seeing him through the recent accomplishments were the accommodations and resources at the Opportunity Machine, Lafayette's premier technology incubator. Bartels and his company will graduate

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OM developing major role in Lafayette medical future

OM developing major role in Lafayette medical future

This fall, the Opportunity Machine will play a significant role in Lafayette’s transformation to a world-class medical hub when it hosts up to 10 healthcare startups for Accelerate South, a program designed to fast-forward the growth of promising medical companies from across the U.S., including Acadiana.

Currently, academic, public and private sector leaders are working with Accelerate South’s executive director, Reece Theriot, to vet applicants to the business acceleration program. There’s still time for other medical companies that believe they’ve got the innovation moxie to compete. To

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StoneWall Engineering Firm Celebrates Expansion in Lafayette

StoneWall Engineering Firm Celebrates Expansion in Lafayette

Blaine LaFleur and his business partners – Justin Courville and Ben Moody – celebrated a milestone in May: They and their engineering firm, StoneWall LLC, graduated from the Opportunity Machine and began operations in a downtown Lafayette high-rise.

The company has come a long way in the two-plus years it’s been in business. In October 2015, LaFleur, 31, decided to hang a shingle on his own design/project management firm. A few months later he and Courville discovered the Opportunity Machine, or the OM, and took advantage of low rent, an array of business and social media classes taught by

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Waitr Sells for $308 Million to Houston Rockets Owner

Waitr Sells for $308 Million to Houston Rockets Owner

By Bloomberg


A special purpose acquisition company run by Texas businessman Tilman Fertitta has agreed to buy food delivery startup Waitr Inc. for $308 million.

Landcadia Holdings Inc. is paying Waitr’s backers at least $50 million in cash and the rest in stock in a deal that will bring the food-delivery company public.

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360Fuel Takes Top Prize at LUS Smart City Challenge

360Fuel Takes Top Prize at LUS Smart City Challenge

A team from 360Fuel, a startup incubated at the Opportunity Machine, beat out seasoned world-class stalwarts IBM, Microsoft and CGI at LUS Fiber’s first-ever Smart City Challenge.

The competition was held at the Lafayette Science Museum during a 24-hour reverse-pitch hackathon on April 26 and 27, during Festival International de Louisiane. All competing teams were invited by LUS Fiber.
360Fuel brought home the grand prize of $10,000 by creating an app that best addressed challenges which dealt with Lafayette’s traffic congestion and the consequences to those who live here:
  • With traffic congestion increasing in Lafayette, do we

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