On July 27, the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA), which houses the State Energy Office, announced the second round of a competition called “Pitch in the V-Quad,” that will award grants to teams that are developing new products in the energy or agriculture sectors. The competition aims to develop an incubator network between research universities, industry, government, and non-profits that supports the launch of new energy and agriculture companies. V-Quad also encourages entrepreneurship among minorities and in rural areas of the state.
The competition, funded through an Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC) grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, supports ten teams of entrepreneurs who will make pitches to MDA about their products. The pitches from each team need to cover the technologies involved, market readiness for the technology, how the team will use the funds, and how each member’s expertise will contribute to the business. It is open to high school or college students and faculty, for-profit or non-profit businesses, public sector employees, or some combination of those groups. MDA will award a grant of $25,000 to each of three winning teams. State Energy Program (SEP) funds are beneficial in supporting staff time for the V-Quad initiative. SEP funds may be used to provide technical assistance to innovative ventures as the V-Quad program evolves.
The deadline to express intent to participate in “Pitch in the V-Quad” is Friday, August 20. For more information, go to mississippi.org/vquad or email Sumesh Arora, Director, Energy & Natural Resources Division at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Pitch in the V-Quad.”