Category Archives: Events

Business Startup for International Students – Monday Sep. 17

Business Startup Seminar for International Students

Monday, September 17

12:00 NOON

At University Hall – Room 121

Information and assistance for international students interested in starting a business located here in Ruston, LA

International students often have great ideas for starting new businesses but this can be hard to do while enrolled in school and even more difficult after graduation.  There are some actions which can make this goal easier to achieve.  Immigration attorney, David Ware, discussed the options that can allow students to establish and run businesses in the United States while enrolled in school and after graduating.

Topics Discussed:

  • Options that can allow business ownership and operation in the US
  • Resources that can help with starting a business
  • Attendees also had the opportunity to talk with an immigration expert who could answer questions about business ownership

Startup Weekend in Alexandria June 1-3

Startup Weekend is an event where entrepreneurs gather for a weekend of company creation. In just 54 hours, participants will transform initial ideas pitched on Friday night into startup companies on sunday night.

This event is for inventors, developers, marketing maestros, business development wizards, design gurus, legal geniuses, and startup specialists.

What you’ll ge tout of the event:
Build Your Network
Learn New Skills
Learn How to Launch a Business
Get Access to Valuable Startup Resources
Save Money

Learn more and register at or call 318.441.4400

Expanding Horizons 2012

A Seminar for Small Businesses Entering International Markets

May 10th, 2012

Sheraton New Orleans

500 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70130


For more than four decades, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has been the primary U.S. government agency supporting private sector investment in new and emerging markets. In support of OPIC’s continued outreach efforts, OPIC is extending into 2012 its program EXPANDING HORIZIONS: A Workshop for Small Businesses Entering International Markets with events in New Orleans, Louisiana on May 10; New York City, New York on June 27; Seattle, Washington on October 3; and Chicago/Rosemont, Illinois on October 18.

These events will provide a unique opportunity for participants to learn about U.S. government resources available for small businesses expanding their business internationally, and will include presentations by senior government officials from OPIC and other U.S. government trade agencies, as well as insight from U.S. businesses currently investing in foreign markets. These workshops follow the great success of 13 similar EXPANDING HORIZONS events OPIC has organized around the United States since 2006.

For more information, or to register, please visit

Time to Take the Leap

Time to Take the Leap

February 29, 2012

Louisiana Tech University
Technology Business Development Center
Ruston, LA

Take the Leap was a workshop overviewing new venture startup to help people learn before they take the leap of starting a new business. The training covered how to identify opportunities, decide on the best option, calculate funding needs, assess funding alternatives, and begin preparing for startup.

Participants received relevant information, reference materials, continued support, business research assistance, and the opportunity for Q and A.

For more information on what was presented during the workshop, check out the links below.

Powerpoint Presentation


Excel Worksheets

New Venture Plan & Prep

New Venture Plan & Prep

January 19, 2012

Louisiana Tech University
Technology Business Development Center
Ruston, LA

The New Venture Plan and Prep workshop taught participants about the 6 M’s of business startup- Model, Market, Margin, Management, Money, and Motivation. Participants learned how to define each topic, why each is important, and what to do about it or plan for it.

For more information on what was presented during the workshop, check out the links below.

Powerpoint Presentation

Excel Worksheets


Save the Date

Come and check out the 30th Annual Ag Expo on January 20 & 21 in Monroe at the IKE Hamilton Expo Center. The TBDC will be there along with Agriculture businesses and technologies showcasing the latest in incentives and innovations. Don’t miss it.

For more information go to the event website. AG EXPO 2012

Finding Your Idea

FYI – Finding Your Idea

December 8, 2011

Louisiana Tech University
Technology Business Development Center
Ruston, LA

Participants received information and engaged in exercises to facilitate idea creation, evaluation, and implementation.  The “Finding Your Idea” workshop was designed to help aspiring innovators develop new opportunities or existing organizations identify additional products or services to expand their operations. Almost everyone has ideas about how to do things differently and perhaps, better. This workshop helped enterprising individuals pursue viable new opportunities by showing them how to assess the economic potential of an idea so they can focus on those concepts demonstrating a better chance of success.

Topics covered:

  • Understanding Entrepreneurial Impact on Economy and You

Ms. Wyatt explained what she considers to be the “BIG idea” – entrepreneurship and enterprise development, and why it matters. Tremendous benefit and value that occurs when each of your ventures and all of your future opportunities are fully engaged, adding to your personal wealth, our regional economy, and the nation’s prosperity as a whole.

  • Generating Ideas

Ms. Wyatt discussed how to better explore the world around us, discovering opportunities for new ideas. Attendees learned how to better examine themselves and the world and how to change their thinking to notice their opportunities. Attendees also learned that it’s good to have a myriad of ideas and how to handle them.

  • Assessing/Evaluating Ideas

Attendees learned in what ways they should evaluate their ideas as well as how to distinguish their product or service. Attendees also learned how to identify and demonstrate their market and their prospective organization. Presenters also gave attendees tips on how to continually assess their ideas and understand market trends. Participants also learned that “overnight successes” never truly happen overnight.

To end the workshop, Ms. Wyatt discussed next steps and how to implement ideas, as well as resources to help in this process.

FYI powerpoint presentation

FYI Training Resources

Understanding Financial Statements

Understanding Where You Stand

November 29, 2011

Louisiana Tech University
Technology Business Development Center

Ruston, LA

Local business people spent the afternoon learning about financial statements and how to best use the information they provide in evaluating their company, especially in comparison to industry standards and previous years from Cooper Cochran of Louisiana Tech University’s Technology Business Development Center. Cochran discussed the balance sheet, the income statement, and the statement of cash flows, their functions and components, ratios using their information, what information these statements provide, and how they can be helpful in making decisions about a company.

Topics covered:

  • Purpose of Financial Statements

Cochran explained the usefulness of financial statements in evaluating a company, providing a historical picture of a company, and in decision-making.

  • Balance Sheet, Income Statement, and Statement of Cash Flows

Cochran explained what each statement is, what information it provides, its components, and how each statement should be set up. He explained what classifies as each component, for example, on the balance sheet what classifies as a cash or cash equivalent. For the balance sheet he also explained the cash method vs. accrual method of accounting. For the income statement he also explained horizontal and vertical comparisons and how tax liability is determined.

  • Ratios and Comparison to Industry Standards

Cochran explained the following ratios which use figures from the financial statements and how to calculate them: working capital, quick ratio, current ratio, debt to worth ratio, profit margin on sales, accounts receivable turnover, inventory turnover, accounts payable turnover, and debt service ratio. Each attendee was given a “Understanding Where You Stand” booklet, and copies of Best Buy’s financial statements which were used as examples. Using the book, Financial Ratios Benchmarks by the Risk Management Association, Cochran explained how to compare a company to industry standards using financial statements from Best Buy as an example. He also discussed some reasons why a company’s percentages may be different from those of industry standards. He discussed how each statement and these ratios can be used in decision making especially in the areas of future planning, administration, and evaluation of a company.


  • Users of Financial Statements Outside of the Company

Cochran discussed the different types of people outside of a company that typically use a company’s financial statements, such as investors, creditors, potential employees, lenders, and government entities, and how they might use the information provided to make decisions about a company.


  • Future Action

At the end of the workshop, Cochran urged attendees to analyze their own companies, compare them to industry standards, look for areas of improvement, and make necessary decisions and changes. Cochran will do one-on-one sessions with some attendees to look at their own financial statements, calculate those ratios, and compare their company to industry standards.

TBDC Understanding Financial Statements

Small and Emerging Business Development Program

Small and Emerging Business Development Program

June 22, 2010

Cohabitat Shreveport

Shreveport, LA

Small business owners and entrepreneurs from the northern Louisiana area gathered to hear about Louisiana’s Small and Emerging Business Development Program. They learned that thru the program they can receive financial help to pay for professional services and entrepreneurial training. Participants learned details about the program and also some advice about some choices that are made early in the life of a business. Attendees also had the opportunity to ask questions, to meet other small business owners and service providers, and to see the new Cohabitat Shreveport office in downtown Shreveport.

Topics Discussed:

  • SEBD Program Overview

Presented by: Kathy Wyatt, TBDC Director

Ms. Wyatt gave a description of the program. She outlined eligibility factors, the process, and what the program actually provides for the small business. She also held a brief Q&A session.

  • Choosing What Type of Entity: The Tax and Legal Implications

Presented by: Alice V. Frazier, CPA, Heard, McElroy & Vestal, LLP and  Kyle C. McInnis, Attorney Cook Yancey King & Galloway

Ms. Frazier explained the differences between LLC, S Corp, C Corp, and Sole Proprietorship from a tax standpoint, while Mr. McInnis expounded on the legal implications between those choices. During their talk, they both fielded questions from the audience



Cohabitat Shreveport

SEBD Program Description

Louisiana SBDC