Pine Belt inventors compete for prize money

HATTIESBURG, MS. (WDAM) - Encouraging the development of new businesses was the goal of a competition Tuesday at Southern Miss's Accelerator in Hattiesburg.

Noetic Technologies, Inc. is based in the Accelerator and they have been hosting the "Invent Your Future" competition for seven years. Tuesday's event featured teams of seven finalists that presented their ideas for new business ventures.

A panel of judges then selected three teams to split a total of 15-thousand dollars in prize money. Those funds will be used as seed money to help these young entrepreneurs further research and enhance their business plans.

Organizers, like Kelli Booth, said the event helps the Pine Belt encourage the development of new high tech businesses. Booth is the Vice President of Marketing for Noetic Technologies, Inc.

"It's about encouraging entrepreneurship in Hattiesburg, in the state of Mississippi, in the region and it's turned into actually being more of a national event. So we have teams here from Rhode Island and Texas," explained Booth.

One of the teams that presented on Tuesday introduced a new type of synthesized foam that can be used to make football helmets better equipped to prevent player brain injuries. That team was comprised of Polymer Science students from Southern Miss.

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