Chris Meaux’s eggs are in quite a few baskets when it comes to his investments and entrepreneurial endeavors. The WAITR founder has left the company he helped build into one bringing in about $200 million annually to invest in other startups, specifically around Baton Rouge.
Originally from Crowley, Louisiana, Meaux, who attended LSU, joined skilled worker marketplace Boom Nation as chairman and co-CEO. He also joined his son Logan and fellow LSU graduates’ hunting and fishing marketplace Mallard Bay as an investor and chair of the board. Both companies are LSU Innovation Park tenants.
The former, which Meaux describes as a blue-collar equivalent to LinkedIn, provides a means of communication and credential management for skilled workers and potential employers.
Meaux describes Mallard Bay as a similar marketplace to Airbnb where hunting and fishing enthusiasts can connect with companies and other outdoorsmen to plan and coordinate fishing charters and hunting trips. Meaux is also an investor in multiple other Baton Rouge companies, including software developer Pass It Down, building on more than 25 years of experience in the tech industry, including the 2013 founding of WAITR.
“The number one thing you have to do in starting a business is make sure you have the right cofounders,” Meaux said. “If you’re gonna start a software company, you’re gonna need a technical cofounder. In other words, someone who can do the software development, someone who can build the technical product you want to try to sell.”
Meaux said he hopes that the startups he has invested in are a sign of a new ecosystem for startups in the area, with groups like Nexus and Innovation Catalyst, as well as the Louisiana Technology Park providing jumping off points for businesses like his.
“What’s really exciting,” he says, “is that Baton Rouge is really building a vibrant startup community.”