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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, hiring 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 Android smartphones.

“It’s in real time,” Huffman said, “so it comes up whenever (a

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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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Lafayette Duo Wins Statewide Entrepreneurship Competition

Lafayette Duo Wins Statewide Entrepreneurship Competition

The high schoolers’ nervousness was palpable, even after a week of practicing their business pitches in the theater at the Opportunity Machine, Acadiana’s premier business incubator. In one- and two-person teams, the students from Acadiana High School and Northside High School, impressed the judges in Lafayette’s first “Trust Your Crazy Ideas Challenge” sponsored by Junior Achievement.

All the work leading up to the competition Tuesday evening paid off for seven students who were survivors from earlier Lafayette competitions that whittled down the number of contestants. 

Taylor Randell and Shariss Goodley, a team from Acadiana

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Downtown Welcomes New Tech Talent

Downtown Welcomes New Tech Talent

When John Miller decided to start The Integration Group of Americas (TIGA) in February 2017, he had the support of his family, a veteran business partner, and a few years of experience working in the tech-industrial space.

He also had the support of the Opportunity Machine, a business incubator whose sole purpose is helping fledgling startups find the road to success and stay on it.

One year and 40 employees later, TIGA graduated from the OM at the Lafayette Immersive Technology Enterprise (LITE) into a private office at 201 West Vermilion St.

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Local Tech Company Pivots Business Model to Make Video Games for Fortune 500 Companies

Local Tech Company Pivots Business Model to Make Video Games for Fortune 500 Companies

For four years, buddies Shane Istre and Jason Perkins have navigated a road that for most business upstarts would be loaded with unknowns: where to find investors; when should sales become a priority; should R&D be constant; how much to charge for goods or services?

Two years ago Shane and Jason moved their business into the Opportunity Machine – Acadiana’s leading business incubator. In August they enrolled in Accelerate Acadiana, a 12-week boot camp at the OM for some of our region’s most promising entrepreneurs. Both decisions have been pivotal to the company’s current success and long-range goals.
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