JACKSON — Three Jackson entrepreneurs were selected to compete in the 4th-Annual Mississippi New Venture Challenge, organized by the Mississippi Technology Alliance (MTA). The annual competition was free and open to the public at the Jackson Convention Center located in downtown Jackson.
Competitors include: Marla Group, of Jackson, which has a patented hooded hair dryer that provides a healthier, more comfortable and time efficient hair drying experience; The Donor Tree, of Jackson, an online fundraising company whose trademarked technology tool facilitates the recruitment of new donors beyond their identified contacts; and, UMOJA Inc., of Jackson State, an international firm that manufactures wireless headsets with integrated MP3 technology.
Forty-two innovative companies in three divisions presented their venture opportunities to a panel of judges that included some of Mississippi’s top entrepreneurs and investors. Winners in each category competed for cash prizes and in-kind services.
In addition to the cash and in-kind prizes available, the audience of investors, entrepreneurs, service providers and economic developers were looking to connect with companies to help them secure the resources they need to move forward. Each team was invited to participate in MTA’s Venture Development Academy and assigned a mentor to work with prior to the competition.
The event’s title sponsor was Bradley Arant Boult & Cummings law firm. Other major sponsors for the event included the Mississippi Development Authority and Phelps Dunbar, LLP.
“The New Venture Challenge showcases the tremendous innovation and talent found all around Mississippi,” said Tony Jeff, president and CEO of the Mississippi Technology Alliance. “In addition to the sponsors for the cash prizes, we’re grateful to the State of Mississippi for supporting entrepreneurial development activity like this through MTA.”