Episode 2: Economic Development and Advocacy

Podcast: BIO from the BAYOU

Episode 2: Economic Development and Advocacy (Sharon Courtney and Nicole Honoree, RTTP)

Welcome to this episode of BIO from the BAYOU, a podcast where we feature stories and industry insights from top experts from within the bustling biotech scene of the Gulf South Region. Filled with expertise and excitement, the region’s vibrant ecosystem is unveiled a bit more in each episode. Today’s hosts, Sharon Courtney and Nicole Honoree, are also today’s guests as they share how they have advanced their biotech ecosystems through partnerships and advocacy. Sharon is from Tulane, while Nicole is from LSU Health New Orleans, and both have much to say about how and why their paths continue to cross.

Nicole kicks off the episode by discussing what her role is and how she’s done a bit of everything, from research, to creating opportunities for faculty and students, to focusing on the local economy through intellectual capital available. Sharon shares about her time at Tulane as her role brought new priority to community relations that proves to be an increasingly important piece as the university continues to grow. Both experts agree that while relations are crucial, they are not always easy. Nicole and Sharon come from places with similar missions, but are different institutions that find themselves in positions that often align with one another. They discuss why it is crucial to develop trust and a common goal in order for people to come together successfully.

Taking a step back, Nicole and Sharon discuss the New Orleans region and how they have both had to work to pull themselves up to some degree. While the capital is not naturally there, these experts found great value in academic research and their institutions commitment to support regional growth. While there have been many successes and setbacks over the course of their work, they share where they see themselves in the landscape today. Listen as they chat about resilience, along with the role of both the community and universities to leverage their unique strengths. These experts agree that it’s crucial with pipeline models to focus on partnerships atevery point along the way, as roles will continue to evolve over time.

These relations truly enhance the opportunity for startups in New Orleans. How has this evolved and how has entrepreneurship been supported in the community? Learn about the champions that have risen over time and the key players who stepped up to help create what they have today. Through extensive partnerships, cultivation of relations has become natural in moving toward a similar goal—no single institution receives individualized grants. The key to moving the economy forward are these partnerships, and building on the assets the universities are creating.

Every city and region has different assets and culture, what assets are critical to a strong base for building upon? Sharon and Nicole discuss the various districts that cities create and how New Orleans’ ability to bring everyone along with them has been a key factor to ongoing success. This idea of inclusive growth is the hope to change their economic base, so that tourism is not what they’re built upon. While enhanced access to capital is key, they chat aboutthe need for a broad view and a wide scope in building relationships. Drawing to a close, they touch on a unique characteristic about New Orleans — that despite one institution being public and one private, both were founded to be outward looking and care for their community. And they seek to maintain these unchanging missions over time.

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Connect with Nicole Honoree and learn about LSU Health New Orleans.

Connect with Sharon Courtney and learn about Tulane University (and its School of Medicine).

Learn more about BIO from the BAYOU – the show, the upcoming event, and more!

Learn more about podcast sponsor, The XLerator Network.