Cape Girardeau, Mo. – February 27, 2019 – Twenty early-stage startups from the Mississippi Delta region have been selected for the seventh cohort of the Delta Innovation Fund (Delta I-Fund) startup accelerator. Funded by the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) and administered by Winrock International, the Delta I-Fund is a proof-of-concept startup accelerator that connects budding entrepreneurs in the eight-state DRA territory with training, local business mentors and funding.
The 2019 cohort includes entrepreneurs from six of the eight DRA states: Arkansas, Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee. Each team has been matched with a dedicated business mentor and will receive an allowance of $5,000 for technical assistance, which can be used for legal assistance, market research and prototype development.
“We are excited to begin working with our seventh cohort of Delta entrepreneurs,” said Amy Hopper, program officer at Winrock International. “We aim to equip emerging entrepreneurs with the resources and experiences they need to bring their ideas to life. Our hope is that they become the job creators of the Delta’s future.”
The rigorous 12-week accelerator program will kick off March 9 with a public event from 11:30 a.m.-12 p.m. at Codefi in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Winrock’s Amy Hopper will share more information about the Delta I-Fund program and DRA Federal Co-Chairman Chris Caldwell will discuss the opportunities and challenges for Delta entrepreneurs. Afterward, a selection of participating startups will present 30-second business pitches.
Following the public event, the Delta I-Fund entrepreneurs will begin private trainings with mentors and instructors on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University, hosted by the Office of Career Services and the Center for Economic and Business Engagement.
The Seventh Cohort of Delta I-Fund Startups
ABOUT DELTA INNOVATION FUND
The mission of the Delta I-Fund is to positively impact the low-to-moderate income communities throughout the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) territory. Funded by the DRA and administered by Winrock International, the program seeks to provide a platform for the creation and launch of high-growth companies, spurring economic development and job creation in the region. For more information, visit www.deltaifund.com.
ABOUT WINROCK INTERNATIONAL
Winrock is a recognized leader in U.S. and international development with a focus on social, agricultural and environmental issues. Inspired by its namesake, Winthrop Rockefeller, Winrock combines scientific and technical expertise with entrepreneurial innovation to deliver market-based solutions that improve lives around the world. Winrock’s mission is to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity and sustain natural resources across the globe.
DELTA REGIONAL AUTHORITY
The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives through strategic investments in economic development in 252 counties and parishes across eight states. DRA has approved investments of more than $211 million into more than 1,200 projects. Overall, DRA investments have estimated outcomes since 2002 that will create and retain more than 60,000 jobs, train nearly 54,000 workers to advance in the 21st Century, and deliver sewer and water improvements to 400,000 residents and businesses. Learn more at dra.gov.