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Competitors will be divided into three categories:

Student Only Division:

Team is made up entirely of students.

Pre-Revenue Division:

Team represents any company that is pre-revenue stage (generating $0 - $5,000 in annual revenue or past 12 months)

Revenue Generating Division:

Team represents any company that is generating revenue ($5,000+ in annual or past 12 months)

Who can participate?

The New Venture Challenge is open to all Mississippi innovation and technology entrepreneurs in 3 categories:  student-led companies, Pre-Revenue companies, which is made up of companies that are currently generating little to no revenue and the Revenue Generating division, which is made up of companies generating over $5,000 in revenue annually or in the past 12 months.  Companies can be start-ups or existing companies with a new venture opportunity, but the new venture must be innovation-based.  Innovation-based ventures derive their primary business from proprietary products, processes, or business systems – whether protected by intellectual property or not.  For existing companies, judging will be based solely on the new venture opportunity.

Judging Criteria:

Applicants will be screened for the competition based on their online applications.  Selected participants will submit an Executive Summary via Gust and a pitch deck presentation.  Judging at the October 3rd event will be based on the Executive Summary and the team’s live presentation.  The same criteria will be used to judge teams in each division.

Judges for the competition will include angel investors and select entrepreneurs.

Click below to review the Judging Criteria. 



Monetary prizes and trophies will be awarded for first, second and third place in each division.  In addition, winners will be recognized at the Accelerate Conference Luncheon On November 13th in Jackson, where Steve Case, AOL Co-Founder will be the keynote speaker. 

For more information, contact Tasha Bibb.

Free Services & Prizes Provided by:

Smartzweb – 1 Free Custom Built Website and a year of Free web hosting
Natalie Thomas – Free brand consultation

Mississippi Polymer Institute – $250 service credit good for any services that MPI provides (consulting, 3D printing, CAD, physical or analytical testing)

McLaughlin, PC – 2 hours of legal services valued at $500

Spark Outbound – Free strategy development session

Mantle – 1 month City Club membership to all participants; 3 months to the winner of each category

Northpark – 1 (RMU) retail merchandise unit in Northpark Mall, free for one month

Northpark - Mississippi New Venture Challenge
Maris West and Baker - Accelerate - Conference on Technology Innovation
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