About

Opportunity Machine (OM) is a 501(c)(6) organization with a mission to grow business and entrepreneurship, create quality jobs, economic diversity, and regional prosperity. The OM provides business education, guidance, and risk reduction to startup founders and small business owners through training, mentorship, networking, and affordable workspace.

Our Team

Destin Ortego

Destin Ortego

Executive Director

Katherine Nebel

Katherine Nebel

Development Manager

Theresa Goldkamp

Theresa Goldkamp

Community Coordinator

Genesis Sanchez

Genesis Sanchez

Office Administrator

Board of Directors

Tom Cox

Tom Cox

President

President & CEO of Golfballs.com

Mandi Mitchell

Mandi Mitchell

Vice President

President/CEO of the Lafayette Economic Development Authority

Heidi Melancon

Heidi Melancon

Secretary/Treasurer

Director of Louisiana Small Business Development Center

Bob Miller

Bob Miller

Member at Large

Chief Operating Officer of Global Data Systems

Matthew Delcambre

Matthew Delcambre

Member at Large

Innovation Managing Director at University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Josh Bendickson

Josh Bendickson

Member at Large

Associate Professor of University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Dacoda Bartels

Dacoda Bartels

Member at Large

Chief Pilot & Aerobotics Drone Division Manager at G.I.S.

Ajay Patel

Ajay Patel

Member at Large

Owner/Operator of McDonald’s

History of Opportunity Machine

In 2009, Opportunity Machine (OM) was created by Lafayette Economic Development Authority (LEDA), Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise (LITE), the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (UL) and the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce (now One Acadiana). Its original mission was to “accelerate wealth creation by immersing technology wildcatters into a fiber-powered community of innovators.” The initiative was encouraged by David Welch, former President of Stone Energy Corporation, who had confidence a technology ecosystem could flourish in Acadiana that centered on its members via education sessions, mentoring and coaching opportunities, and community events.

Officially launched in 2010, OM was led by its Executive Director, Bob Miller, now COO of Global Data Systems; Tom Cox, Founder and CEO of Golfballs.com; Clay Allen, Managing Partner of Allen & Gooch; Doug Menefee, then CIO for Schumacher Group; Joby John, Marketing Professor at UL; Mark Galyean, then Regional Director for LSBDC; and Gregg Gothreaux, President and CEO of LEDA. At the time, there were five companies at the OM: Pixel Magic, Rader Solutions, Fiber Corps, Global e Solutions, and Henry Safety Technologies, LLC. The Opportunity Machine’s original location, The Switch, was in downtown Lafayette. After OM member, CSE Icon, expanded to fill two floors of the building, the OM moved to a larger space at LITE in 2014. OM obtained 501(c)(6) nonprofit status in 2017.

Today, OM is located in a state of the art facility at 314 Jefferson St. in Downtown Lafayette, where it hosts more than 80 startups and businesses in industries such as technology, health care and more with several graduating from the incubator each year. It provides programming for over 1,000 entrepreneurs from the Gulf South region each year through workshops, accelerator programs, Innovate South, and more.

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