Applications for the 2023 cohort will be opening soon.

Join the Innovate Mississippi newsletter to receive notifications and updates!

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’ Cohort will join around 20 other companies to participate in a 12-week virtual intensive development program.  Companies selected 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

Application Process: Companies interested in representing Oxford in the statewide Co-Builders cohort should submit an application by April 11, 2022. 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 cohort Interviews scheduled for April 12-13.  

For further information please contact allen@oxfordms.com 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 March 31, 2022. Applications can be completed here.

For further information please contact Shakira Wyms at Shakira@HigherPurposeCo.org or call 662-351-8595.

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.)

Application Process: Teams should sign-up here by March 10th with a completed application. They will be reviewed and counseled by an experienced entrepreneur and present at one of eight divisions between March 28th and April 1st. These pitches are open to the public.

For further information please contact Brooke Lammert at blammert@ecenter.msstate.edu.

JSU / The Bean Path

Jackson State University Logo
The Bean Path 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 should submit an application by February 22 to begin the process with a consultation session and work with a mentor to prepare for the Pitch Event held by mid-April.  Once the venue is set, the community is invited to the Pitch Event to hear some of the best new startup opportunities from the region.

For further information please contact us via email at wbc@jsums.edu or via telephone at 601-979-4186

Hinds CC / SBDC Vicksburg

Hinds Community College logo
America's SBDC Mississippi

The Hinds Community College Small Business Development Center (HCC-SBDC) seeks to increase the economic development activity of the Vicksburg region through providing a vibrant business environment in which companies can grow and thrive.  As close partners with the Chamber of Commerce and the Vicksburg Warren County Partnership, Hinds Community College, the Hinds CC SBDC provides support to businesses.  As a partner in the CoBuilders Accelerator, the Hinds CC SBDC is working with other partners to assist companies from the region.

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

Application Process:  Companies interested in representing Vicksburg in the statewide Co-Builders cohort should submit an application by March 18.  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 April 4th.  

For further information please contact jim@mississippisbdc.org or call the Hinds CC SBDC office at 601-857-3536.

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: Companies should sign up  here by February 21st to begin the application process. Once accepted, they will begin the process with a consultation session and work with a mentor to prepare for the Pitch Event held at MPI on March 26th.  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- 266-4607.

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 early-stage products on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Application Process: Companies should submit an application by February 22, 2022, to begin the process with a consultation session and will work with a mentor to prepare for our Virtual Pitch Event on April 13, 2022.  The Mississippi Gulf Coast Regional Pitch Event will be broadcast live on Facebook 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 and product 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 info@tmp-ms.com or 228-207-0663.