From solar to film, David Holtman ’09 has played an influential role in the creation of startups in Louisiana, and his hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed. Recently featured in The Biz New Orleans and The New Orleans Advocate, Holtman discussed the role he has played as an entrepreneur in New Orleans.
“After college, I was looking around for opportunity, and the film industry down here was really blossoming,” Holtman said in his interview with The Biz. “I did some research and found that New Orleans was getting strong for entrepreneurs, and that’s something I always wanted to do.”
After involving himself with a multitude of start-ups since he moved to New Orleans in 2009, Holtman now serves as the managing partner of R&D Design, a marketing agency that helps new businesses utilize the latest technology to reach customers. As a managing partner, Holtman supervises and coordinates projects, collaborates with the creative team, focuses on partnership development, and manages vendors and clients.
R&D Design specializes in using virtual and augmented reality to help businesses enhance communication with its customers. Along with virtual reality, Holtman has played a key role in introducing 360-degree video to businesses as a way to increase interest in events hosted by local businesses.
“We realized that video is an important piece of how people are consuming content these days. So we really got into storytelling through video content. And then virtual reality started coming out,” said Holtman, whose most prominent clients include New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Business Council of New Orleans.
R&D Design first launched with pro-bono work for nonprofits like Animal Rescue New Orleans and the American Red Cross as a way to develop its services and invest in the community. Focused on community outreach, Holtman is invested in helping the city thrive economically. “I think the partnerships and relationships that I’ve developed through this business are unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I get the opportunity to partner with people to help develop the city. It’s rewarding to try to make an impact on the city and see it happen.”
An economics and Asian studies major at the Colleges, Holtman was a member of Phi Sigma Kappa and Asian Student Union. “My HWS experience gave me the ability to think, how to understand a problem and work through potential solutions. That is the fundamental thing that I learned that has allowed me to find success in my career.” said Holtman.