Century Next gift to inspire next generation of entrepreneurs, innovators

Century Next Bank has pledged a multi-year gift totaling $125,000 to support innovation and entrepreneurship at Louisiana Tech University.

Commemorating the University’s 125th anniversary, the gift will help propel Louisiana Tech’s students and faculty forward in their research and entrepreneurial initiatives.

“We share common values and priorities with Century Next,” said Dr. Dave Norris, Tech’s Chief Research and Innovation Officer. “Economic growth in our region is a key priority of the university, and we are so thankful for Century Next’s commitment to helping us achieve that goal. This gift is an excellent example of our mutual commitment to community engagement and organizational growth that’s designed to increase opportunities for students here in the Technology Corridor of north Louisiana.”

A portion of the gift will be used to support the winning student teams in the Top Dog New Venture Championship, held annually on the Louisiana Tech campus. Student teams whose businesses show the highest potential as successful start-ups will be provided funding to continue their innovation and business development. The gift will also be used to provide awards to emerging faculty scholars and distinguished research scholars whose work has an economic impact on the region.

“Century Next is all about innovation and research, and we’re incredibly supportive of the continued development of the I-20 Technology Corridor that Louisiana Tech has been instrumental in helping create,” said Century Next President and CEO Bill Hogan. “One of our core values is our commitment to the communities we serve, and this project will have a positive impact on Tech students and faculty members, a key part of our overall Lincoln Parish community.”

The ties between the University and Century Next run deep.  More than half of Century Next’s employees are current Tech students or graduates, and Tech President Emeritus Dr. Dan Reneau serves as chairman of the bank’s Board of Directors.

“From helping create a qualified workforce to inspiring solutions to the grand challenges of our region, state and nation, higher education drives our economy,” Hogan said. “Every dollar that we invest as a community in Louisiana Tech translates into great things for the future.”

The partnership between Century Next and Tech is focused on innovation and entrepreneurship, and complements the recent announcement of funding for Tech Pointe II in the Louisiana Tech Enterprise Campus.

“Century Next and Louisiana Tech have shared history, and many of us have created close personal relationships through the years,” said Dr. Les Guice, Tech President. “Innovation and entrepreneurship are core to our mission as an economic development engine for our region and state, and we look forward to seeing the ideas, products, and companies that develop as a result of this support from Century Next.”