Applications for the 2023 cohort are being accepted now.

Your participation in CoBuilders starts with a local partner. Scroll down for details about each statewide partner and how to get in touch to participate in a local qualifying pitch event or contact April Dixon at for more details.

You can also join the Innovate Mississippi newsletter to receive notifications and updates!

CoBuilders Requirements

Companies that will be targeted for Cobuilders MUST:

Ideal Companies:

Companies that are accepted into CoBuilders will:

for more information on SAFE agreements, please see the y-combinator website ; use this link to read SAFE agreement document.

CoBuilders Starts with a Local Partner

Companies cannot apply for the 12-week CoBuilders cohort directly since they must be selected by a CoBuilders Partner. Cobuilders Partners will then work with each company through a pitch and selection process and support each company they select throughout the 12-week cohort. Each partner has different criteria, interest and experience and applications to apply with the partners are included in each partner’s information below. Companies should apply directly through the partnership links below and mentors and sponsors can indicate specific partners or work statewide.

Why would my company participate?

Benefits for your company begin immediately upon registering for a local partner event and with the assignment of a mentor and the chance to hone your pitch and work alongside a regional partner to build the plan and grow. Just being connected to the startup ecosystem in your region will show benefits, since connections are vital to startup growth, but the real benefits begin if a company is selected by the regional partner to participate in the statewide CoBuilders’ Cohort.

Companies selected by regional partners to participate in the statewide CoBuilders’ Accelerator will join a 10-company cohort. Upon acceptance, companies will participate in a 12-week virtual intensive development program and will receive assistance and capital in various forms.

Companies selected for the statewide CoBuilders’ Cohort will join your fellow companies for an in-person kickoff event and a mid-term in-person event. The regular programming of the Accelerator is virtual, with the final Pitch Day as a big in-person event.

If you are a company ready to apply through CoBuilders or you are a mentor ready to lend your expertise, you can see a preview of the steps and processes we’ll be working on through the CoBuilders Accelerator through this recorded webinar.

CoBuilders Partners:

Oxford / Lafayette Economic Development Foundation – Oxford, MS

Oxford EDF Logo
The University of Mississippi Logo

The Oxford / Lafayette Economic Development Foundation seeks to increase the economic development activity of the region through providing a vibrant business environment in which companies can grow and thrive.  As close partners with the University of Mississippi, the EDF also works to assist technology transfer businesses to grow and thrive in the area.  As a partner in the CoBuilders Accelerator, the EDF is working with other partners in North Mississippi to assist companies from the region.

Startup Focus: Early-stage companies generally in North Mississippi

Please Note:
Submitting an application DOES NOT guarantee you entry into the Oxford Pitch Competition.  All applications are subject to review and local mentorship will be required prior to the pitch competition.  Also, please note that winning the regional pitch event is not a guarantee of acceptance into the CoBuilders Cohort. By applying, applicants indicate their intent to participate in the Oxford Pitch competition, and if selected, participate in the statewide cohort for Fall 2023.  

For further information please contact Allen Kurr ( or call the Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation at 662-234-4651.

Higher Purpose, Co. – Clarksdale, MS

Higher Purpose Co Logo

Higher Purpose Co mission is to build community wealth with Black residents in Mississippi by supporting the ownership of financial, cultural, and political power. As a valued partner in the CoBuilders Accelerator, Higher Purpose Co will support black-owned businesses from all over the state of Mississippi.  Higher Purpose Business Membership applications are now being accepted. HPC Membership is designed to offer Mississippi entrepreneurs, farmers, and artists, services and support for their existing and growing business that falls within the seven priority sectors which are beauty, food/agriculture, education, healthcare, housing, transportation, and art. 

Startup Focus: Black-owned Mississippi Small Businesses

Application Process: Black-owned Mississippi businesses should complete the membership application by April 17th. A pitch event will be held on May 18th.

For further information please contact Oni Omoregie at or call 6o1-988-8081.

Mississippi State E-Center

MSU E-Center Logo

The MSU Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach empowers students and Mississippi residents to plan, launch and grow successful local and global companies based on new ideas or MSU invented technology. Our companies are graded in the real world – by success or failure with actual, paying customers. We use applied learning to strengthen our pipeline of entrepreneurs from K-12 to college students to graduates and have broad involvement of alumni and friends to help mentor, coach and invest in our startups. As a partner in the CoBuilders Accelerator, we join a team that is working to propel Mississippi’s next wave of technology startups.

Startup Focus: Conceptual or early-stage companies located within Mississippi, or abroad with some connection to MSU. (Only Mississippi-based companies can be selected for CoBuilders, but MSU affiliated companies from any location can participate in the Startup Summit.) Applications are only open to MS State students.

Application Process: Applications will be reviewed and counseled by an experienced entrepreneur and present at one of eight divisions.  These pitches will be open to the public.  A pitch event will be held on March 31st. 

For further information please contact Eric Hill at

JSU / The Bean Path

The Bean Path Logo
Jackson State University Logo

The Women’s Business Center at Jackson State University (WBC at JSU) is dedicated to promoting economic growth in the City of Jackson, Hinds County, Mississippi by providing confidential one-on-one counseling, low-cost training, networking, free workshops, technical assistance, and mentoring to women entrepreneurs on numerous business development topics, including business startup, financial reporting, and procurement. The WBC at JSU also assists women businesses seeking federal contracting dollars as Women-Owned Small Businesses, as well as provides valuable support on intellectual property protection and technology commercialization.

As a partner in the CoBuilders Accelerator, the WBC at JSU will collaborate with The Bean Path, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, to provide assistance to companies in Jackson and the surrounding areas.

Startup Focus: Early-stage companies in Jackson, Mississippi, and the surrounding areas

Application Process: Companies will begin the process with a consultation session and work with a mentor to prepare for the Pitch Event held on June 24th. 

For further information please contact Adia Dightman via email at

MSU E-Center Vicksburg

The Mississippi State Entrepreneurship Center in Vicksburg seeks to develop entrepreneurial ventures in the Vicksburg region and to draw particularly from the technology partners and connections associated with ERDC and ERDCWerx.  Located in the beautiful MCITy Building in downtown Vicksburg, the MSE E-Center Vicksburg brings all of the resources and experience of MSU’s E-Center to the River City and surrounding areas.  As a partner in the CoBuilders Accelerator, the MSU E-Center Vicksburg is working with other partners to assist companies from the region.

Startup Focus:  Early-stage companies generally in the Vicksburg region

Application Process:  Apply by May 13th. Each applicant will begin the process with a consultation session where they will be connected with local entrepreneurial development resources to help prepare them for the local pitch event scheduled for May 20th. 

For further information please contact Ryan Gilbrech or call the MSU E-Center Vicksburg office at 757-784-5947.

Mississippi Polymer Institute

Mississippi Polymer Institute Logo
The University of Southern Mississippi Logo

The Mississippi Polymer Institute cultivates business growth and participation in advanced materials markets.  As the industrial outreach component of the University of Southern Mississippi’s 500-acre Innovation and Commercialization Park, we collectively provide capabilities and resources relevant to businesses at all stages of maturity. As a partner in the CoBuilders Accelerator and the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MMA-MEP), MPI works with other partners around Mississippi to assist early-stage companies.

Startup Focus: Early-stage companies generally focused on material-based products (preferably), but all area startups are encouraged to sign up.

Application Process: Applications open through May 10th. Once accepted, you will begin the process with a consultation session and work with a mentor to prepare for the Pitch Event held at MPI on May 26. The community is invited to the Pitch Event to hear some of the exciting regional startup initiatives.

For further information please contact MPI at 601- 266-4094.

The Meeting Place

The Meeting Place Logo

The Meeting Place seeks to increase the economic development activity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast region through providing a vibrant business environment in which companies can grow and thrive. As close partners with the Mississippi Small Business Development Center (MS SBDC), the South Mississippi Contract Procurement Center (SMCPC), the Mississippi Enterprise for Technology (MSET), Innovate Mississippi, and local Chambers of Commerce, The Meeting Place functions as a business incubator giving startup and even more experienced businesses the best opportunity to grow and thrive on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Startup Focus: Companies with investable products on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Application Process: Companies should submit an application by April 30 to begin the process with a consultation session and will work with a mentor to prepare for our Virtual Pitch Event on June 2, 2023.  The Mississippi Gulf Coast Regional Pitch Event will be broadcast virtually and will feature an audience participation vote. Our panel of judges will rank the participants and Audience participation will add points to their score.  Participants are competing for cash prizes as well as the opportunity to attend Innovate Mississippi’s Accelerator Cohort and pitch at the state level for Seed Funding and other prizes

For further information please contact Geneva Dummer at or 228-207-0663.