Aug 15, 2023 - Jackson, MS

by: Roslyn Anderson, WLBT News

A select few new Mississippi companies are learning what it takes to get the funding to move their business to the next level. What they do in the coming weeks could take their ideas, services, and products nation and even worldwide.

Nine people gathered in a room at the Capital Club in Jackson, hoping they have the idea that will make their company a household name. They will spend the next 12 weeks during the Innovate Mississippi CoBuilder Startup Accelerator learning how to pitch their businesses to investors.

“We provide on-demand roadside and automotive assistance through a mobile app and a website,” said Dequarius Dunson.

The 42-year-old from Pearl used his background in towing to start Road Rescuers to reduce wait time.

“We connect distressed drivers with roadside professionals such as towing companies and individuals that provide roadside assistance,” said Dunson.

Caitlyne Shirley is co-owner of a Hattiesburg company that she said is in the process of final FDA certification for a natural feminine health product.

“It’s a treatment for bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, and trichomoniasis,” said Shirley. “Because it is made with all-natural ingredients, the side effects are, from what we have seen so far from out testing, essentially nonexistent.”

Aniruth Aditya of Starkville started Tempo three years ago.

“It’s a social discovery app. Actually, the world’s first social discovery app,” said Aditya. “What we do with that is basically using the powers of social media and social networks to help people in their journey and self-discovery.”

The nine were chosen from 78 statewide applicants, each receiving a safe investment of $22,500.

“They’re gonna be giving short investment pitches, so these companies will be showing that they’ve proved everyone wants it, that the product works, and it’s got a big market and can get big returns for these investments,” said Innovate MS President/CEO Tony Jeff.

The group will make their pitches to investors on November 8.

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