Startup Weekend Set for Nov. 6-8 at USM’s Trent Lott National Center

Startup Weekend Set for Nov. 6-8 at USM’s Trent Lott National Center

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The following is a news release from The University of Southern Mississippi

Innovate Mississippi will provide a platform for business ideas to be pitched and evaluated during the next Startup Weekend, set for Nov. 6-8 at the Trent Lott National Center for Excellence in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship at The University of Southern Mississippi's Hattiesburg campus.

Powered by Google for Entrepreneurs, Startup Weekends are intense 54-hour events that operate worldwide, bringing together serial entrepreneurs, programmers, developers, graphic artists and business-minded people for weekends of company creation. The mission is to provide a high-energy, collaborative environment that facilitates experiential education and meaningful connections. Participants also build long-lasting relationships and could possibly secure a new job or investment.

"We're so excited to be partnering with The University of Southern Mississippi's Trent Lott National Center for this event," said Tony Jeff, president and CEO of Innovate Mississippi. "We hope to bring the community, college students and regional entrepreneurs together and see real businesses formed over the weekend."

The agenda begins with aspiring entrepreneurs pitching their business proposals to the group, who then vote for the most promising 10 to 15 ideas. The group will divide into small teams based on the ideas they want to work on and spend the rest of the weekend developing a proof of concept, demo or finished product. Mentors are on hand to help fine-tune the idea into a real company. A panel of seasoned professionals evaluates each team's startup and their chances of real-world success.

"USM is pleased to host Startup Weekend because we recognize that south Mississippi has a large number of entrepreneurs and innovative thinkers who want to pitch an idea for a new business concept," said Dr. Shannon Campbell, Director of the Trent Lott National Center. "Startup Weekend is designed to rally support around these ideas with a team of volunteers who possess business, technical and creative backgrounds."

The event concludes with an awards ceremony where the top two teams receive in-kind prizes from local service providers and sponsors. In addition, each participating team will continue to consult with the entrepreneurial development team at Innovate Mississippi to further develop their business plans.

"Several companies formed from Startup Weekend Mississippi events have gone on to successfully grow their businesses, so I expect we'll see the same from this event," said Jeff.

Event sponsors include: The Area Development Partnership; Innovate Mississippi; The University of Southern Mississippi Office of Technology Development, Mississippi Polymer Institute, College of Business, and The Trent Lott National Center for Excellence in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship; and the Comcast Foundation Entrepreneur Series.

For more information about Startup Weekend, contact Tasha May in USM's Trent Lott Center at or 601-266-5507. To purchase tickets, which includes all meals, visit:

Follow all Startup Weekend Mississippi events on Twitter via @SWMississippi or visit their Facebook and LinkedIn pages by searching Startup Weekend Mississippi.

Innovate Mississippi is a nonprofit organization with the mission to drive innovation and technology-based economic development for the State of Mississippi. Visit to learn more.