Jim Robbins, partner in the consulting firm Business Cluster Development, led the discussion on day one, primarily sharing his expertise on starting, adding and managing clean-tech incubation programs. He and his partner, Carol Lauffer, have helped launch nearly 60 incubation programs, including several clean-tech incubators. The day included break-out sessions for networking and brainstorming.
Charlie D'Agostino, executive director of the Louisiana Business & Technology Center, along with his incubator staff and clients, hosted a tour of LBTC and a reception. Participants enjoyed viewing the LBTC grounds, listening to Cajun music and dining on fried catfish, crawfish pies and jambalaya.
During the second day of the event, numerous speakers discussed various sources of funding available to clean-energy/clean-technology incubation programs and clients. Charles Russomanno of the U.S. Department of Energy, Marty Murphy of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Jim Groelinger of the Clean Energy Alliance offered advice on government funding and alliances. A panel of investment bankers, including Cliff Adams of Coady Diemar, Ross Crawford of SAIL Louisiana Sustainability Fund, and Robert Lay of Stonehenge Capital, provided information on other sources of funding for clients. A panel including Charlie D'Agostino, Jim Robbins and Marty Murphy discussed funding for incubation programs. The event concluded with a networking reception.
Louisiana's Lieutenant Governor, Jay Dardenne, entertained the participants during lunch with a colorful and colloquial perspective on the history of Louisiana politicians.
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