Twenty early-stage startups from the Mississippi Delta region have been selected for the seventh cohort of the Delta Innovation Fund (Delta I-Fund) startup accelerator.
Funded by the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) and administered by Winrock International, the Delta I-Fund is a proof-of-concept startup accelerator that connects budding entrepreneurs in the eight-state DRA territory with training, local business mentors and funding.
The 2019 cohort includes entrepreneurs from six of the eight DRA states: Arkansas, Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee. Each team has been matched with a dedicated business mentor and will receive an allowance of $5,000 for technical assistance, which can be used for legal assistance, market research and prototype development.
“We are excited to begin working with our seventh cohort of Delta entrepreneurs,” Amy Hopper, program officer at Winrock International said. “We aim to equip emerging entrepreneurs with the resources and experiences they need to bring their ideas to life. Our hope is that they become the job creators of the Delta’s future.”
The rigorous 12-week accelerator program will kick off March 9 with a public event from 11:30 a.m.-12 p.m. at Codefi in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Hopper will share more information about the Delta I-Fund program and DRA Federal Co-Chairman Chris Caldwell will discuss the opportunities and challenges for Delta entrepreneurs. Afterward, a selection of participating startups will present 30-second business pitches.
Following the public event, the Delta I-Fund entrepreneurs will begin private trainings with mentors and instructors on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University, hosted by the Office of Career Services.
The participants include:
AMBots, Cabot, AR
Her Health Tribe, Jonesboro, AR
James Henry, Jonesboro, AR
Jay Drones L.L.C., Little Rock, AR
My Water Buddy, Little Rock, AR
Nature West, Jonesboro, AR
RaftUp, Little Rock, AR
RocketJOBS, Jonesboro, AR
Weight Loss Trailblazers, Tuskegee, AL
Booking Platform, Marion, IL
Bee Steel Security Mount, Marion, IL
GoFlair, Christian County, KY
Live Tour, Brookhaven, MS
Order Your Life, Clarksdale, MS
Active Pet Plugs, Memphis, TN
Compass Inc., Memphis, TN
Delta Greens, Memphis, TN
FastCoach, Memphis, TN
Menus4All, Memphis, TN
Neurodyne, Memphis, TN
The mission of the Delta I-Fund is to positively impact the low-to-moderate income communities throughout the DRA territory. Funded by the DRA and administered by Winrock International, the program seeks to provide a platform for the creation and launch of high-growth companies, spurring economic development and job creation in the region.