MPI and USM host a business startup competition

Nine entrepreneurs displayed their wares before a judges' panel at USM Saturday.
Published: Mar. 26, 2022 at 11:39 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The Mississippi Polymer Institute and University of Southern Mississippi partnered Saturday, hoping to discover the next big thing.

Nine local entrepreneurs gathered to present their ideas for a groundbreaking product for a panel of judges Saturday evening, with three finalists being invited to participate in a state-wide competition.

Along with the invitation, each of the finalists will receive a $7,500 grant to help with start-up costs, enrollment into a 12-week curriculum and a mentorship.

“A lot of these folks are small, they’re financing things with their money. So $7,500 brought in from outside money will be very helpful to them,” MPI assistant director Robert Thompson said.

“The main benefit of winning is the 12-week program in Jackson that they’ll go through to help them grow their business and continue on, hopefully, making them more likely to succeed,”

Hattiesburg was one of seven hosts Saturday for an event. All finalists will be invited to Jackson for the next round of competition.

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