Jon Atkinson serves as Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Development at Loyola University New Orleans, a program he helped found. In this role, he leads Loyola's efforts to provide nationally recognized entrepreneurship education that will help build an innovation-ready workforce that serves New Orleans and the Gulf region. Jon believes that professionalization of local early stage capital, focus on developing a local innovation-ready workforce and connecting entrepreneurship to the Gulf region's legacy industries can have a profound impact on our local economy and community. Jon also serves as the Administrator for Lagniappe Angels, LLC. In this role, Jon manages day to day operations of the investment group and is responsible for pipeline development, coordination of due diligence, and general administration of the group. On this episode you'll learn: What it takes to train an innovation ready workforce? What are a few challenges faced by the startup ecosystem in New Orleans? What are some recent improvements in the City's startup ecosystem?