Contact: James Carskadon
VICKSBURG, Miss.—Mississippi State University is accelerating its efforts to support the development and growth of Vicksburg area technology companies with new funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
MSU has been named a Stage One winner for the SBA’s 2023 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition, providing the university with a $50,000 cash prize to support the launch, growth and scale of research and development-focused small businesses. The prize builds on initiatives MSU launched in Vicksburg last year with $650,000 in SBA funding and $1 million from the Mississippi Legislature. With the funding last year, MSU developed a presence at the Sen. Thad Cochran Mississippi Center for Information and Technology, commonly known as MCITy. The Office of Technology Management’s Tasha Bibb supports tech transfer efforts in Vicksburg and the Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach’s Ryan Gilbrech provides entrepreneurship training and support.
MSU’s proposal for the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition focuses on developing entrepreneurial training and resources for STEM-based entrepreneurs in Vicksburg, building on the collaborative environment in MCITy, including personnel with expertise in the research, development and commercialization of STEM-based technologies. The team will also position businesses to compete for federal Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs, which are designed to encourage small businesses to engage in federally funded research and development. The university’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach, Office of Technology Management and Institute for Systems Engineering Research collaborated on the proposal.
“Small businesses are vital to growing our state’s technology sector, and I am proud of our Vicksburg team’s work to better position companies to compete for federal awards and grow STEM-based companies,” said MSU Vice President for Research and Economic Development Julie Jordan. “Initiatives like this will help us maximize the economic impact of research activity taking place in the Vicksburg area and around the state.”
MSU’s presence at MCITy in Vicksburg includes an office for the Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach, as well as the Office of Technology Management. As part of a state-funded program, MSU and fellow Mississippi Research Consortium universities are enhancing technology transfer and entrepreneurial programs related to federal research taking place in Mississippi. MSU also has a long-standing partnership with the Vicksburg-based U.S. Army Engineering Research and Development Center, which includes the joint creation of the Institute for Systems Engineering Research in 2014.
Last month, MSU hosted a pitch competition at MCITy, allowing entrepreneurs to qualify for Innovate Mississippi’s business accelerator program and awarding prize money.
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