A lot of us have dreamed about coming up with a great idea that would address a need or demand in society while enriching us in the process. But there’s a long and winding road between thinking up the Next Big Thing and making it a reality. On this edition of Out to Lunch Baton Rouge we meet a couple of folks who know this journey well.
Clerc Bertrand is founder and owner of Workaru, an app that you can kind of think of as an Airbnb for office space. The Workaru app lets professionals find, compare, and book on-demand workspaces. Workaru helps connect people looking for a temporary workspace with businesses looking to monetize their available space – maybe an empty office, a conference room or a shared work room. This is especially relevant in the era of Covid, when a lot of employers are paying pricey leases every month for a lot of large office space they no longer need.
Currently, Workaru has available space listed in four of Louisiana’s five largest cities.
Clerc is a native of small town Louisiana, who, also has had something of an illustrious professional track career and was a traveling representative for Brooks running company before coming up with the Workaru app.
Bill Ellison is CEO of Innovation Catalyst, a nonprofit venture capital fund based at the Research and Technology Park here in Baton Rouge. The fund provides seed capital to Louisiana-based high-growth tech companies.
Bill also heads up the Red Stick Angel Network, which is owned by Innovation Catalyst and seeks to identify, vet, and then aggregate it’s members’ investment capital to fund early-stage companies in Baton Rouge and elsewhere in Louisiana.
Bill Ellison is a serial entrepreneur, attorney, and private investor, who was in private practice for 20 years before pivoting to the entrepreneurial world in 2000, when he became an investor, General Counsel and Director of a HIT start-up company. Bill has subsequently started, operated, and invested in several start-up companies.
Normally Out to Lunch Baton Rouge is recorded over lunch at Mansurs on the Boulevard and we’ll be returning to our regular lunch table next week. This week, conditions forced us onto Zoom. Photos by Jill Lafleur. You can also check out more lunchtime conversation about Baton Rouge startups.