Delta Business Journal: Panola Partnership Accelerating Innovative Companies

Delta Business Journal: Panola Partnership Accelerating Innovative Companies

Around the state, high-growth startup businesses are being encouraged and accelerated by universities and economic development groups. The Panola Partnership is one such group, and we’re excited to see them getting great coverage from the Delta Business Journal.

A recent feature story in the Delta Business Journal highlights a trend we’re seeing around the state—and one we’re thrilled to see in the Mississippi Delta—the rise of incubators for high-growth, innovative companies.

The Panola Partnership, an economic-development group in Panola County, Miss., is working to develop a cluster of companies that bring manufacturing and technology together to build something bigger.

Joe Azar - Panola Partnership - Innovate Mississippi
Joe Azar, executive director of the Panola Partnership.

“Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and other universities develop tech startups, but then they transfer to someplace else to grow,” Joe Azar, executive director of Panola Partnership, told the Delta Business Journal. “We want technology-industry transfers to come our direction and to keep our talent at home.”

To encourage that, the Partnership is offering “space for meetings, offices, and manufacturing,” in and around Batesville, according to the story. And companies like Hydroco, an energy startup launched in Oxford, are already taking advantage as they grow and require space for prototyping, manufacturing, and distribution.

Also mentioned in the story is WISPr, an Innovate Mississippi client company and frequent presenter at our events. Conner Ferguson developed the company, which makes high-tech drones for the wireless Internet industry, while at Mississippi State. Now he, too, has moved to Batesville to assemble and sell the drones.

“A little bit of money goes a long way here,” Ferguson told the Journal. “When you’re starting a business, the priority is the setup of the business. There’s no better place because there is nowhere as affordable as Batesville.”

We’re excited to see the progress for these companies and for the Panola Project up in the Delta, and look forward to them adding even more to Mississippi’s entrepreneurial ecosystem in 2020 and beyond!

Read the full story here.

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