There aren’t enough bad things we could say about the COVID-19 pandemic. It's cut a path of death, destruction and suffering around the globe since early 2020. But, like any major disaster, it has also disrupted the old way of doing things and forced us to come up with new alternatives that will live on after the pandemic has passed - like telehealth consultations and working from home. This long-running crisis has also created opportunities - for entrepreneurs and innovators. Some of them in Baton Rouge.

Calvin Fabre is President and CEO of Envoc, a software development and services firm he founded in 2003. Calvin is the creator of LA Wallet app, one of many but far and away Envoc’s most visible product.

In 2018, before anyone had ever heard of Covid, Calvin created the digital drivers license, which slid into your digital LA Wallet, making Louisiana the first state in the nation to offer such a product. The Louisiana State Legislature even passed specific legislation to make a digital driver's license on LA Wallet legal everywhere - from being pulled over by the police to getting into a bar.

Then the pandemic hit.

What seemed like the most negative event of recent times became an extremely positive development for Envoc. The State of Louisiana expanded the digital driver's license on LA Wallet to include a digital proof of Covid vaccination. Today, prompted largely by the need to show proof of current vaccination to get into many bars, restaurants, or a Saints game, more than 1 million people in Louisiana have downloaded LA Wallet. It's the biggest digital ID platform in the US. And it's poised to spread beyond state lines.  

Cody Louviere is founder of King Crow Studios, a local digital media company that specializes in virtual reality and, specifically, using VR tools to train some pretty important clients – like the US Air Force and the US. Space Force.

Though the pandemic didn’t force Cody and his company to create any new products or services per se, it created opportunities for its existing clients to accelerate their training so that when their employees returned to the office they were able to train them faster and more efficiently, and achieve better outcomes.

In addition to running his own tech company, Cody works with the Louisiana Technology Park to develop and retain the digital media workforce available in our area. 

Cody and Calvin are undoubtedly two of the brightest stars in the local tech galaxy collectively referred to as Silicon Bayou.

Out to Lunch is recorded live over lunch at Mansurs on the Boulevard. You can see photos from this show by Erik Otts at our website. And check out Calvin Fabre's earlier to visit to Out to Lunch in a pre-Covid world

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