Baton Rouge may be no Silicon Valley, heck it may not not even be the “Silicon Bayou” that we were hyped in the early 2000s by the tech park and economic development folks. That said, there are nonetheless some amazingly impressive companies here that are creating tech products and performing IT services in ways that are not being done anywhere else. These are not attention-grabbing cool startups with a catchy marketing hook solving some or other issue like laundry and parking (though we have those too). They’re companies dealing in real-world commodities – businesses that have grown from the ground up and proven themselves so successful that they’ve been acquired by larger companies or private equity firms.
Mo Vij is founder and owner of 365 Labs, a tech company that builds software and processes for public safety departments, courts, prosecutors, and first responders. Mo founded the company in January of 2021, using his @Highland campus as its headquarters.
Mo’s company is funded by Vij Capital, a private equity firm Mo also founded, in 2019, to fund technology firms. In the years since its founding, 365 Labs has revamped law enforcement systems for agencies around the country, changing the way police process records, how courts handle warrants, and how law enforcement issues tickets.
Mo is no stranger to the tech world, or to this show. You may remember he was a guest several years ago, when we talked about his company General Infomatics, which he founded in 2004. In 2020 Mo sold a majority share of that company to a private equity firm based in California. General Infomatics continues to work out of the @Highland campus next to 365 Labs, and that neighborliness is not coincidental, the companies work together.
Dianna Liu is founder and CEO of Arix Technologies, an IT company that creates robotics software – which is the fancy way of saying they build robots. The robotic systems Arix creates perform inspections for the petrochemical industry. For example, they make a robot that checks for corrosion on the inside of pipes and others that monitor the safety conditions of componentry in chemical plants and refineries, which can be difficult and dangerous for humans but not so hard for robotic systems.
Dianna founded the company in 2017, after spending several years with Exxon Mobil. She got her MBA from Yale after getting her bachelors in mechanical engineering from Duke University.
Out to Lunch is recorded live over lunch at Mansurs on the Boulevard. Photos by Erik Otts.