The Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship Research (LRI) was founded by Dr. John Elstrott in 1991, through a gift from the Levy-Rosenblum family. The LRI utilized its initial funding to coordinate programming and facilitate research on entrepreneurship at the A. B. Freeman School of Business. Dr. Elstrott, who eventually became the chairman of the board for Whole Foods, began teaching at Tulane in 1984, the same year that the business school was renamed after renowned New Orleans business leader Alfred B. Freeman. Dr. Elstrott taught at Freeman for more than thirty years, retiring in 2015.
In April of that year, Albert Lepage announced that he was donating $12.5 million to the Freeman School to establish a new center dedicated to the study and practice of entrepreneurship. Today, the Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation oversees and coordinates all of the business school’s entrepreneurship efforts, including the LRI, the Tulane Business Model Competition, and the Tulane Family Business Center.
The Lepage Center was recently recognized by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, (AACSB International), as one of 25 institutions that is elevating entrepreneurial thinking and new business creation around the world through its creation of the Greater New Orleans Startup Report.