Skip navigation

Mississippi Polymer Institute Hosts Successful Pitch Event Competition

Thu, 06/01/2023 - 08:24am | By: Van Arnold

Five start-up companies were awarded cash prizes during the CoBuilders™ Partner Pitch Event held May 26 at The Accelerator, located in The University of Southern Mississippi’s (USM) Innovation and Commercialization Park. The Mississippi Polymer Institute sponsored the second-annual event.

Nine companies competed in the pitch event, presenting their entrepreneurial ideas to a group of judges. Winners included:

1st place – RebornC presented by Dr. Zhe Qiang

2nd place – Tempo presented by Anirudh Aditya

3rd place – Sincerely Grocery presented by Rebekah Castilaw and Mary Martin

4th place – Oree Development, LLC presented by Percy Walker

MPI bonus winner – Butler Cultivation, LLC presented by Kimberly Butler

Those also delivering presentations included, Floyd Energy Solutions, LLC; Kera-Solutions, LLC; Pro31 Cleaning Solutions, and PSC-Solution LLC.

“What a wonderful opportunity for our community to come together for the second year to showcase Mississippi’s innovative entrepreneurs at MPI’s 2023 Business Pitch Event” said Caitlyne Shirley, MPI’s Pitch Event Coordinator.

Shirley noted that the winning “golden tickets” to the Innovate MS 12-week Cobuilders™ business accelerator program will be announced in July, once all seven partners within the state have completed their pitch events. Through the generous help of Innovate Mississippi, MPI was able to build the statewide initiative for a second year.

MPI extends appreciation to the judges who volunteered their time for this event. Those included: USM SBDC, Merchants Marine Bank, and Hood Industries: Rita Mitchell, Grant Walker, and Bill Dyer.

Others who graciously offered their time to mentor the businesses included: Doug Sherrod of, George Hardin with Howard Industries, Sumesh Aurora of Entergy, Matthew McLaughlin of McLaughlin PC, Steve Puryear with MSU-CAVSe, James Wilcox of the USM Center of Economic and Entrepreneurship Education, and MPI’s own Robert Thompson, Jeff Burger, and Caitlyne Shirley.

“Our pitch events just get better and better, and we can’t wait to see how these companies evolve over time. Keep your eye out for great news on these bright business people and the great offerings they are bringing to the market.”  said Dr. Monica Tisack, Executive Director of the Mississippi Polymer Institute and the USM Innovation & Commercialization Tech Park.

Tisack added that the goal is to keep building momentum of the local entrepreneur scene.

About the Mississippi Polymer Institute
MPI is a non-profit industrial outreach arm of The University of Southern Mississippi that serves to foster technically-oriented business and job growth by providing technical services. MPI serves companies, start-ups, inventors, economic development agencies, schools, and communities through product development, product testing, manufacturing troubleshooting, third party evaluations, training, and outreach. To learn more, please visit the Mississippi Polymer Institute website.