Press Releases

Largest grant has potential for five-year renewal cycle to maximize impact

NEW ORLEANS, NOVEMBER 6, 2014 - JPMorgan Chase & Co. today announced four local grants totaling $500,000 to fund the growth of the health sciences and biomedical industries that are vital to New Orleans’ economic future.

The New Orleans BioInnovation Center (NOBIC), a technology-business incubator that supports promising, high growth companies receives the largest grant of $200,000. New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA), the city’s economic development public-private partnership, receives $150,000. Remaining funds go to Good Work Network ($100,000) and Idea Village ($50,000.)

The half-million-dollar commitment is part of Chase’s nationwide Small Business Forward initiative, a five-year, $30 million program to boost support networks that help growing small businesses in specific industry concentrations known as “clusters.” They also align with the priorities in ProsperityNOLA, the city’s five-year plan for economic growth.

“Investing in dynamic bio-cluster businesses takes JPMorgan Chase’s involvement in the city’s entrepreneurial community to a new level,” said Lizette Terral, President of JPMorgan Chase in New Orleans. “These grants help connect local entrepreneurs with critical resources so they can grow, create jobs and strengthen our economy. These innovative businesses represent a bright future for our city and are a great source of pride and inspiration.”

Clusters that build off a metropolitan area’s strategic assets grow at a rate that’s roughly three times faster than other local businesses, according to a new study from the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC.) The study measured results in the 10 largest U.S. cities between 2003 and 2011.

“We have experienced the eye-opening impact that focused support and investment have in creating a new economy based on knowledge, technology and innovation,” said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “We have especially appreciated JPMorgan Chase’s support of our economic blueprint, ProsperityNOLA and the New Orleans BioInnovation Center, which points to the potential New Orleans has to become a world class hub for bioscience and business overall.”

NOBIC’s grant funds educational and networking opportunities for entrepreneurs, as well as planning for a second-phase life sciences research and development facility. JPMorgan Chase and NOBIC will continue to work together to support local life-science businesses in the future.

Aaron Miscenich, President of the New Orleans BioInnovation Center, said, “There are world-changing technologies emerging from our laboratories. Innovations being developed right here have the potential to save lives around the world and create stable, high-wage employment for the people of New Orleans.”

The potential impact was underscored when Renaissance RX recently announced it will open a new, $8 million headquarters in the Central Business District and create 425 new jobs.

“This grant means we can continue to lead development in the bio-cluster,” said NOLABA Interim President and CEO Melissa Ehlinger, “both through our leadership of the BioInnovation and Health Services Industry Council continues, and, through original research to identify supply-chain opportunities for locally-owned small businesses with the city’s expanding hospital district. Chase’s commitment is an enormous boon to the city.”

Good Work Network will use its investment from Chase for its Connect Works program, connecting local, minority-owned businesses to the newly identified opportunities in the bio-cluster. The grant to Idea Village supports its efforts to support, and retain, entrepreneurial talent in New Orleans, including Entrepreneur Season, an annual cycle of unique programs and events that drive innovation and entrepreneurship.

Providing support of talented, early-stage businesses – particularly those that are minority-owned – is a keystone of the Equity is a Growth Strategy commitment of ProsperityNOLA.

“An economy that is not inclusive is not healthy,” said Phyllis Cassidy, executive director of Good Work Network. “New Orleans is doing great economically, but the benefits are not being shared as widely as they should be.”

The New Orleans biomedical corridor encompasses 1,500 acres spanning the Downtown and Mid-City areas. Economic development efforts in this corridor aim to foster the growth of a biosciences industry that will provide world-class research; stable, high-paying jobs for professionals; and life-changing medical care for the people of New Orleans, Louisiana, the Gulf Coast and beyond.

About JPMorgan Chase & Co. has 3,400 employees in Louisiana, making it one of the largest non-governmental employers in the state. Since Hurricane Katrina, Chase has donated more than $34 million to non-profits working in Louisiana. To learn more about Chase Small Business Forward, visit and follow #smallbusinessforward.

New Orleans BioInnovation Center is a not-for-profit life sciences business incubator that stimulates life sciences entrepreneurship in Southeast Louisiana and assists companies in commercializing technologies within the region.

About New Orleans Business Alliance: As the official economic development agency for the city of New Orleans, NOLABA leverages its public-private partnership status to create a growing, sustainable economic future for the city in which all citizens participate.

Good Work Network provides business development services to minority- and women-owned businesses throughout a 15-parish region in Southeast Louisiana.

Idea Village is an independent nonprofit organization that engages a global community to identify, support, and retain entrepreneurial talent in New Orleans. It does this by executing the Entrepreneur Season, an annual cycle of unique programs and events that drive innovation and entrepreneurship.