INNOV8 Lafayette, the eight-day project that’s on a mission to brand Lafayette’s creative economy, is bringing together two successful entrepreneurs for one of its more than 40 events around town April 22 to April 29. You might not be able to take in the full slate of events (as you’ll be celebrating Festival five of those eight days), but if you’re an entrepreneur or aspiring one, don’t miss LAUNCH HOUR.

tom_cox founder Tom Cox
On Monday, April 23, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Acadiana Center for the Arts, “From Tee to Green” features Tom Cox, CEO of Cox will outline what went on behind-the-scenes in the mid-1990s when he was launching the virtual business, which has since become a top online resource for golfers and now includes a brick-and-mortar store. carries a complete selection of golf balls, caps, shoes, bags and clubs, and also focuses on the sale of custom imprinted corporate logo balls, and embroidered caps and shirts. To date, has sold more than 14 million golf balls direct to customers in all 50 states and 40 different countries.

The presentation is sponsored by the nonprofit Acadiana Entrepreneur Group.

Two days later, on Wednesday, April 25, also from 11:30 a.m. 1 p.m. at the AcA, one of "America’s Coolest College Start-ups," according to Inc. magazine, will show aspiring entrepreneurs presentation techniques to help them pitch their business plans. In naming the BR-based Big Fish Presentations to its “cool” list for 2012, Inc. had this to say:
Kenny Nguyen founded Big Fish Presentations in 2011, inspired by the very thing his business works to prevent — a boring presentation. He started with less than a thousand dollars from a paycheck and his father. One year later the design firm, which tackles everything from putting a presentation together to presentation strategy workshops, has brought in $75,000 in revenue. Nguyen is a junior at Louisiana State University.

Read more from Inc. here.

Nguyen’s presentation, "Pitch Perfect - The Art of A/V Presentation" is sponsored by the Acadiana Advertising Federation.

LAUNCH HOUR and many other INNOV8 workshops, presentations and exhibits are sure to enhance your Festival International experience this year. INNOV8’s events are scheduled around most of Festival, so you won’t miss any of the excitement coming out of what's just been named the "Best World Music Festival." View INNOV8's full schedule here.

Hundreds of volunteer hours helped lay the foundation for INNOV8’s debut, along with a cross-section of government, corporate, media and individual sources. Be sure to pick up a copy of The Independent Wednesday for a special, eight-page section devoted entirely to this unique collaborative effort.

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