Innovate Mississippi will present its 10th Annual Mississippi New Venture Challenge Pitch Competition on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at the Greater Jackson Arts Council. The 2017 New Venture Challenge sponsors include: Jones Walker, Baker Donelson, Fuse.Cloud, Bradley, Port of Gulfport, Regions Bank, and Coalesce.

Don’t miss this opportunity to pitch your startup and receive valuable feedback from some of Mississippi’s top entrepreneurs and investors.

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, and the “commercial” division, which is made up of post-revenue companies. Companies can be startups 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.

Competitors will be divided into three categories:

  • Student Only Division: Team is made up entirely of students.
  • Pre-Revenue Division: Team represents any company in the pre-revenue stage.
  • Commercial Division: Team represents any company that is post-revenue.

Judging criteria:

Participants will be screened for the competition based on their executive summary created from an online questionnaire. Judging at the October 17 event will be based on the executive summary and the team’s live PowerPoint 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 here to review the judging criteria.

How to enter:

To apply to enter the competition, complete an executive summary by answering our online questionnaire. When creating your executive summary, you do not need to upload a video presentation. Please ignore the video option on the questionnaire. Selected applicants will be invited to participate in the competition where they will make a 10- 15 minute live PowerPoint presentation with four minutes of Q&A. The length of the presentations may be adjusted depending on the number of applicants. The deadline for applications is August 28.

Click here to register through Gust and complete the online questionnaire to create an executive summary. This is your application.

Applicants will be notified by September 5 if they have been selected to present to the judges.  Selected teams will be paired up with a mentor to prepare a pitch for the competition.

The audience will include investors, service providers and other professionals.


Monetary prizes and trophies will be awarded for first, second and third place in each division. In addition, winners will be recognized at the Awards Reception immediately following the competition.

For more information, contact Tasha Bibb.

For information on sponsorship opportunities, please contact Janet Parker.


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