11 Jun Education tech company Torsh relocates to New Orleans
By: Jed Lipinski
Torsh, a small video-based technology company focused on improving teacher effectiveness, has relocated its five full-time employees to New Orleans and expects to hire at least five more by year’s end. CEO Courtney Williams and New Orleans Business Alliance, which facilitated the relocation process and formally announced the move Thursday (June 11).
Williams, who has held senior technology executive roles at AOL, Time Warner and Interactive One, founded Torsh in 2011. By simplifying the capture of classroom videos, the company’s web platform allows teachers to reflect on their teaching methods and gain insight from teaching coaches.
“It’s hard to improve as a teacher without being able to see what you’re doing,” Williams said in a phone interview. “Our platform allows teachers to not only see how they behave in class, but to improve how they teach with help of master teachers.”
Williams and his team began working out of the Mid-City business incubator Propeller on May 1. The company was previously headquartered in Williams’ two-bedroom Manhattan apartment; its eight part- and full-time employees worked remotely.
Williams said Leslie Jacobs, head of the New Orleans Startup Fund, planted the idea of relocating Torsh to New Orleans when the two met several years ago in New York. Williams is now looking to hire a web developer and sales staff, and to relocate the company’s design team to the city within the next six months.
The company plans to take advantage of Louisiana’s Digital Interactive Media and Software Development Incentive, which New Orleans Business Alliance interim president and CEO Melissa Ehlinger called a driving force behind Torsh’s decision to relocate.
“It shows that for small and medium-sized companies considering a move to New Orleans, those incentives can play a big role,” Ehlinger said.
She added that the business alliance has been actively trying to recruit minority entrepreneurs. The fact that Williams is Africa-American made Torsh all the more attractive.
“Traditionally, venture capital dollars tend to go to non-minorities,” Ehlinger said. “We’re focused on equity as a growth strategy and think New Orleans could be a hub for minority entrepreneurs.”
Read more about Torsh here.