Summer 2023

NO/LAAN Continues to Set Records

Message from the Chairman

The NO/LA Angel Network is one of the largest and most active angel-investing groups in America. With 132 members, during the second quarter and first half of 2023 the Network saw investment activity unprecedented in its 9-year history and deployed a record-breaking amount of capital. Through June of this year NO/LAAN received 161 investment opportunities, just about one per day. As NO/LAAN’s deal process vetted the most promising of these, by the end of this month its Members will have invested $2.9 Million year to date in 12 companies, both record mid-year numbers for NO/LAAN, and remarkable given the lethargy in early stage capital markets across the country.  

On an exciting note, during the first half of 2023 two companies in which NO/LAAN Members had invested incurred exits/liquidity events, which brought attractive returns to the investors in these. One of which was Adranos which was featured both in the Wall St Journal as well as CNBC.

Also in Q2 NO/LAAN saw the initial closing of its second side-car fund, The Pelican Angel Fund II, which is now actively investing alongside the Network. 

NO/LAAN’s Public Policy Team, in conjunction with other angel groups in Louisiana worked with legislatures to extend the 25% and 35% Louisiana Angel Tax Credit through 2030, an attractive incentive for investors to support early stage entrepreneurs.  

On the community service front, fifteen Members of NO/LAAN are participating as mentors in the Loyola University of New Orleans’ LaunchU entrepreneur development program.  

All in all a very positive first half of 2023 for NO/LAAN.  

Mike Eckert 

Board Chairman

NO/LAAN Around Town

NO/LAAN was well represented by Chairman, Mike Eckert, at a recent Investor Panel with LaunchU at Loyola's New Orleans Entrepreneur Institute.

Additional panel speakers included folks from the New Orleans Startup Fund (Jimmy Roussel), Xavier University (Mark L. Quinn), and Citizens National Bank (Justin Sablich).

Recent Investments

Renibus Therapeutics is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to treating, improving and extending patients’ lives by developing breakthrough products to prevent disease progression, improve outcomes and protect against organ damage in cardiorenal diseases. The Company has developed a robust portfolio of products that activate multiple cytoprotective pathways, including organ protection via preconditioning.

Groupize has re-imagined meeting and event management with easy to use, out of the box tools that simplify all processes for any size event. With game-changing self-service capabilities, the award-winning technology delivers consistent enterprise workflows, allowing for compliant venue shopping and booking, attendee management, travel and logistics, reporting, budgeting and collaboration.

Portfolio Company Update

Local cocktail company, El Guapo, has been racking up wins!

In addition to being seen on The TODAY Show, NO/LAAN was able to celebrate El Guapo's recent launch with Fresh Market and their unveiling of a new warehouse space that investors were able to tour and explore.

Portfolio Diversification

NO/LAAN is an industry agnostic angel network open to exploring and partnering with businesses in any field or sector. The diversity of our portfolio is illustrated by the chart below. 

Current Investment Stats

Total Capital Invested

$17.5 M

Number Companies Invested


Number of Investing Rounds


Average Round Size


Largest Round


Committee Reports

Membership Update:

Chairman: Daryl Schloz (

Purpose: We want to grow our membership in Louisiana and around the country

We are pleased that we have increased our membership by 8 members so far this year. These new members are from Louisiana and other states as well. We continue to pursue various initiatives for growing membership locally and in other areas and making virtual access seamless.

Getting recommendations for perspective new members from our current members continues to be our best source of growth.

So if you have any potential new members, we ask that you provide us contact information to reach out to them.

PR & Marketing Update:

Chair: Byron LeBlanc ( 

Purpose: Raise brand awareness for NOLAAN and the value of Angel Investing to the start up ecosystem in Louisiana and Central Gulf Coast.

Ongoing quarterly newsletters continue as do efforts to build a speakers program and more robust social media presence. A LinkedIn campaign is in the works, and additional press releases regarding the network's success are forthcoming.

Public Policy Update:

Co-Chairs: Scott Whittaker (

                  Byron LeBlanc ( )

Purpose: Coordinate with Economic Development organizations and other Angel groups to defend and enhance legislation effecting Angel investments, in particular the Angel Tax Credit. 

In advance of the legislative session, NOLAAN teamed with Red Stick Angels (Baton Rouge), Acadiana Angels (Lafayette) and New Louisiana Angel Funds (Shreveport) to form a state-wide coalition of Angel groups to introduce and support legislation to extend and enhance the Louisiana Angel Investor Tax Credit (LAITC), which was scheduled to sunset in 2025. NOLAAN spearheaded the effort, which included retaining a lobbyist and authoring two separate Bills: SB 47, which was introduced by Senator Connick as a simple extension of the LAITC, and HB 468, which was introduced by Representative Pressley as both an extension and to reduce the period over which an investor can use the LAITC. NOLAAN also engaged with LED to support SB 108, a Bill authored by LED and introduced by Senator Harris to extend the LAITC and address some issues with the LAITC program for investments in Opportunity Zones. 


Due to the political headwinds that tax credit legislation faced in this session, the legislators determined to move only one Bill through the legislative process. SB 108 was chosen and was ultimately adopted by the legislature June 6, just 48 hours before the end of the session. It was signed by Governor Edwards on June 12. The end result is:


  • The LAITC has been extended through June 30, 2030.


  • The federal requirement that investments be in tangible property has been eliminated as a requirement for the enhanced LAITC (35% credit instead of 25%) for investments in Opportunity Zones.


If any members would like to help in the future efforts of the Public Policy Committee, please contact either Scott or Byron. 

Sponsorship Update:

Chairman: Rick Mekdessie (

Purpose: Our mission is to expand NO/LAAN’s sponsorship-base into new categories, in hopes of generating new revenue for NO/LAAN and more value for our Sponsors.

Building on the success of last year’s conference, we are excited to share the details of this year’s NO/LAAN Angel Investor Conference as well as Conference Sponsorship Opportunities!

Interested sponsors can save the date for Thursday, November 9th, and join us at the Calcasieu restaurant on Tchoupitoulas Street. This event will offer a wonderful opportunity for our members to connect and engage in meaningful conversations with each other. Following the networking event, our main conference will take place at Gallier Hall on St. Charles Avenue on November 10th.

This year's conference will provide valuable insights for angel investors, offer guidance regarding investment opportunities, and give updates on current portfolio companies.

Click here to learn more about Sponsorship Opportunities for these events!

Data Management Update:

Chairman: Alison Hartman (

(Libby Favrot, Joe Lagarde, and Rick Mekdessie)

Purpose of committee: Consolidate and streamline data management and reporting.

The data cleanup in Seraf is complete for members! 

All members have complimentary access to Seraf's services as part of their membership in NO/LAAN. The Data Management committee was able to convene an Introduction to Seraf Webinar that was held in May. If members wish to watch the linked recording, they can email Libby or Alison for the password. 

New committee-goals for the latter half of 2023 include further refining and streamlining the process of data collection as well as better membership database management and report-building. As always, please feel free to send questions about your data; we encourage every NO/LAAN member to sign into Seraf to review their information!

Please support our sponsors with your business

as they have supported NO/LAAN

Member Calendar Events

Upcoming Member Meetings

August 17th - Registration Link

September 28th - Registration Link

October 26th - Registration Link

NO/LAAN will be holding its Annual Investor Conference on November 10, 2023

so mark your calendars now!

Contact Us

This is a NOLAAN publication and any comments or questions should be sent to Libby Favrot, Managing Director, at

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