VIDEO- Joel Robideaux discussing Public Trust
Scott Clause, The Advertiser
The board of the Lafayette Public Innovation Alliance, at its first meeting Dec. 19, discussed how it might use cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to attract investors, innovators and digital nomads to the parish.
In his annual Robideaux Report in April, Mayor-President Joel Robideaux broached the idea of creating a local Bitcoin-like digital currency and a lab of blockchain researchers and developers, which could position the city to become a global innovation hub.
In July, the City-Parish Council voted to create a new public trust, the Lafayette Public Innovation Alliance, to concentrate on building the local tech economy. Robideaux deposited $100 to get the trust fund started.
At the board’s first meeting Dec. 19, Robideaux said there is the potential to attract investors and technology start-ups through a philanthropic venture capitalist trust fund.
Trustee Bruce Greenstein, executive vice president of LHC Group, recapped a presentation by Hilary Joseph Castille of Crypto Research in Lafayette. Lafayette, he said, could create an economic development home for “digital nomads” and a class of innovators who shy away from big cities like Boston and San Francisco but might consider a smaller city with good football, food and a lower cost of living.
Cryptocurrency, Greenstein said, could be used as an investment methodology for the trust.
Money raised via cryptocurrency, Robideaux said, could be invested in incentives for technological entrepreneurs with each investor getting a piece of the equity.
Robideaux said the board should consider traditional and non-traditional ways to bring money into the trust to allow the alliance to attract innovative businesses.
Besides Robideaux and Greenstein, the board of trustees includes Ramesh Kolluru, University of Louisiana at Lafayette vice president of research, innovation and economic development; Chris Meaux, founder and CEO of Waitr; and Mandi Mitchell, assistant secretary for Louisiana Economic Development.
Board members serve five-year terms. Meetings and records are open to the public. Lafayette Parish is the beneficiary of the trust.
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