MSU Entrepreneurship and Outreach Center Hosts Pitch Contest at MCITy
Released Friday, May 26, 2023 at 3:40pm
The Thad Cochrane Mississippi Center for Information Technology held its first pitch contest on May 20, providing funding and networking opportunities to the winning Mississippi-based startups.
As part of a partnership between the Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach at Mississippi State University and Innovate Mississippi, the Vicksburg Cobuilders Pitch Competition is a qualifier for the annual business accelerator program hosted by Innovate Mississippi. rice field.
“I think the talent coming out of Vicksburg is off to a great start,” said Ryan Gilbreck, senior program manager at MSU. “[These pitch contests]have interest from all over the state.”
Seven startups participated in the May 20th event, ranging from educational apps to beauty and fishing gear. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners each got a cash prize to use for their startup.
MCITy Director Dr. Jeffrey P. Holland commended the competition and the organizers for their hard work in introducing new support programs to the complex.
“This is the first proof of what we are going to do with MCITy,” Holland said. “This shows that we have entrepreneurs in our community and that we have the opportunity to hear really interesting ideas and see them have the chance to blossom. “
Third place went to ppxTEC LLC, owned by Debra Griffin. ppxTEC LLC operates as an app to facilitate seamless real-time rapid data exchange and personal ownership of health records. Griffin took home his $1,500.
In second place was MEGHA R&D LLC, owned by Jason McKenna. The concept behind MEGHA R&D is a sensor program that will provide the Department of Homeland Security with gravity imaging to better screen items arriving at U.S. ports. McKenna took home $2,500 in prize money.
The winners of the Vicksburg CoBuilders contest were Anirudh Aditya and his app Tempo. Tempo is designed as a “learning management system” for short-form videos, allowing creators to put curated guides into cells and viewers to learn from their favorite people. Aditya took home his $3,500 grand prize.
Senior Program Manager Tasha Bibb said the competition was tough, but it was promising for future collaborations.
“Both Ryan and I have startup development backgrounds and were brought here to focus on Vicksburg’s entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Bibb, adding kudos to the participating teams. “Coming up with an idea is easy, but executing it is the hard part.”
This was the first pitch competition, but Bibb said there are more scheduled next year. But Gilbreck added that his MSU presence at MCI Ty is more than a pitch competition.
“We have a venture capitalist program that’s adapted from the Starkville program,” Gilbrech said. “This is a student ecosystem, so it was a fun challenge to adapt to a stable city like Vicksburg. How good can I make my product?”
He said the MSU’s role is also to act as a vehicle to champion technological progress from a startup perspective, especially in relation to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ presence in Vicksburg.
For more information, visit colabvb.com.