02 Jun Gant Laborde: “By Helping New Orleans, We Help Ourselves Grow From Within”
Gant Laborde is the chief technology strategist at the New Orleans branch of Infinite Red, Inc. Born and raised in Greater New Orleans, he explains in this WhyNOLA Q&A why he felt drawn to return to his home city and do business in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
NOLABA: What brought you back to New Orleans, and what keeps you here?
Laborde: Something that can’t be expressed was missing. Upon returning, I found exactly what that was as I was surrounded by kindred spirits – people who came back to build bigger and better, others who care about their home, which is the soul of New Orleans. That’s what calls me back and keeps me here.
NOLABA: Tell me about Infinite Red and why it opened in New Orleans?
Laborde: Infinite Red is based in San Francisco and Portland. They look for talented and notable individuals worldwide. The tech scene that’s been growing recently in New Orleans has gathered attention from quite a few people. Louisiana now has the third-most hires for Infinite Red behind the two mother states where the company was formed.
NOLABA: How do you respond when you’re asked Why NOLA?
Laborde: New Orleans has style. If you’re simply looking to be told or ride on the the coattails of others, you’re in the wrong city. If you know the beat of the drum in your heart, and you’re looking for an eager, supportive and wise audience to make it shine, look no further. I’ve seen small shops rise to industry and Fortune 500s run scared. There’s truth to be found in New Orleans, and for those of us looking for it, we love, we live, and we know WhyNOLA.
NOLABA: Why is New Orleans a good location for your business?
Laborde: Yes, New Orleans truly needs people to step up. From digital divide to civic hacking to urban gardening and continued education, New Orleans will sink into the swamp without the care and maintenance of us all. By helping the city, we help ourselves grow from within. Leonardo da Vinci said it best, “Iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.”
NOLABA: What do you love best about New Orleans in general?
Laborde: 100% the people, without whom we’d be nothing. Such a friendly, caring, and yet replete with attitude bunch we are. I love and defend the culture we brew.