27 Jul Valmiki 504 Joins with TOPXIGHT to Launch New Orleans-Based Tech Incubator
Valmiki 504 took another step forward in the New Orleans business community, announcing today a joint venture with TOPXIGHT Labs. Dr. Arun Lakhotia will lead the venture to bring TOPXIGHT’s product development and company incubation expertise to New Orleans.
NEW ORLEANS, LA and NEW YORK, NY — Today Valmiki 504 LLC, a New Orleans-based venture capital firm, announced a joint venture with TOPXIGHT Labs, a New York-based technology startup studio, to bring TOPXIGHT’s product development and company incubation expertise to the New Orleans tech startup ecosystem. The joint venture will be called TOPXIGHT LA and will be led by its newly appointed Managing Director, Dr. Arun Lakhotia, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
“It is very exciting to see the next step in Valmiki’s investment in the New Orleans entrepreneurial community. The more we grow support capacity for entrepreneurs and startup companies, we increase the probability that one will transform both the local entrepreneur community and the non-profit community by creating significant new wealth,” said Quentin L. Messer, Jr., President & CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance. “TOPXIGHT LA offers a new layer of deep domain expertise for New Orleans entrepreneurs, particularly those involved in knowledge sector industries that are critical to the diversification of our local economy.”
A part of Valmiki Capital’s network of global industry incubators, TOPXIGHT LABS is a New York-based software lab with proprietary IP in immersive data visualization, active learning spaces and indie-commerce. In the past year, TOPXIGHT’s newly launched startups include companies in fintech (ALPHABETA) and music technology (Manoke). Under Dr. Lakhotia, TOPXIGHT LA will add development capabilities in the areas of deep machine learning, cybersecurity and data analytics. It is the stated goal of Valmiki 504 to create such centers of globally competitive excellence in Louisiana.
Peggy Babin, CEO of Valmiki 504, said, “We are thrilled to announce additional important pieces to Valmiki’s assets in Louisiana which use the fund’s well-established investment process of partnering with development incubators to create innovative IP and nurture emerging companies. Dr. Lakhotia is one of the most respected computer scientists in the state and he will be at the forefront of commercialization of such IP from Louisiana. Valmiki will put at his disposal our wide array of development and capital assets, creating a tremendous amount of value for our portfolio companies and fund investors.
“TOPXIGHT was co-founded by a Tulane grad (Kirthi Ramakrishnan, MBA ’96), so we are bringing alums back home to help the community.”
In addition to full stack development expertise, TOPXIGHT LA will also deploy hard assets in support of local startups, starting with a customized but highly scalable data center for the needs of Valmiki portfolio companies, some of which are expected to have highly specific and intensive data requirements. In addition to his role in running TOPXIGHT LA, Dr. Lakhotia will also act as a Venture Partner at Valmiki 504 and be responsible for evaluating and supporting Valmiki’s technology portfolio in Louisiana.
“I decided to join the Valmiki/TOPXIGHT group as it gives me a perfect network to commercialize technologies that I have been working on for two decades, by bringing enterprise business expertise and value-added capital on a global scale to the technology developed locally in Louisiana. There is a tremendous amount of IP available in universities in Louisiana that needs partners with truly global connections to create successful startups. With Valmiki 504, I hope to be an instrumental part of a concerted effort to make that a reality,” said Dr. Lakhotia.