Costar Airs Delta Regional Authority Entrepreneurship Spots

Mississippi regional winners in the 2015 Delta Challenge Pitch Competition for entrepreneurs.

The Gulf Coast Radio Network is currently airing radio spots during our network newscasts featuring Chris Masingill the Federal Co-Chairman of the Delta Regional Authority (DRA). These spots promote the launch of the DRA Delta Entrepreneurship Network. The purpose of this new network is to identify, connect and grow entrepreneurs and support organizations in the Mississippi Delta regions and Alabama Black Belt regions.

DRA Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill said. “Our region’s entrepreneurs have the innovation and creativity to develop highly successful and scalable products and ideas to grow our regional economy as well as identify solutions to our region’s greatest challenges.”

As a part of the newly established DRA Entrepreneurship Network a series of four regional entrepreneurial competitions have been held and a fifth will be completed on March 2. The overall event is called the Delta Challenge Pitch Competition. During this competition businesses will have the opportunity to pitch new business ideas to a panel of judges. The winners will receive a $1,500 fellowship to attend the New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW) March 20-27, 2015. At this event the winners will be able to showcase their ideas to investors, connect with fellow entrepreneurs, meet with industry experts, and participate in workshops.

“Over the last 15 years, the New Orleans community has worked together to establish itself as a leading entrepreneurial hub and New Orleans Entrepreneur Week has become a nationally recognized event to showcase entrepreneurial talent in New Orleans, ” said Tim Williamson, Co-founder and CEO of The Idea Village. “We are excited to partner with the DRA to scale NOEW as a powerful platform for showcasing entrepreneurship across the South.”

Congratulations to These DRA Delta Pitch Competition Winners

The Delta Challenge Pitch Competition is in the process of being wrapped up on March 2. Here is a partial list of the pitch competition winners so far:

Martin McCurtis of The Momentum Dryer (Jackson MS): The Momentum Dryer is the first conceptual change in hooded hair dryers since it was patented in 1890. It relieves the discomfort of hot air blowing into the breathing space of users. It dries in half the time and encourages less perspiration on the user’s scalp. The best thing to happen to users of hooded hair dryers in 125 years! (; @DryerMomentum)

Varun-Kopparthy-PathoRADAR -Ruston-LA-cropVarun Kopparthy of PathoRADAR (Ruston, LA): PathoRADAR is a biotechnology research and development company that is focused on the development and commercialization of a fast, easy-to-use, low-cost, and portable pathogen detection system. The technology is currently focused on detecting food contamination and can be scaled into other markets ranging from agricultural industry to medical industry and bio-defense.

Emily Gaddis of Gator and Crane (New Orleans, LA): Gator and Crane is a grocery store that closes the loop on food waste and single-use packaging. Its mission is to incentivize healthy and sustainable living for all by increasing customers’ purchasing power and divert trash from landfills and oceans by exchanging household waste for store credit. (@GatorandCrane)

Flor Serna of Electric Girls (New Orleans, LA): Electric Girls is an experiential education program that provides young girls and young women with an open, creative, and motivating environment to manipulate and create at the intersection of technology and the arts. Electric Girls demystifies otherwise daunting subjects (basic electronics, circuitry and signal flow, and programming) and prepares girls with specific and retainable concepts that they can carry with them through the STEM pipeline. (

Sheena Allen of InstaFunds (Byram, MS): InstaFunds is a finance app that allows users to not only keep up with their transactions per account(s) but also associate photos per transaction. This makes it easier for users to refer back to a transaction and the receipt or product purchased with the transaction. The paid app has grown from 50 downloads to more than 15,000 monthly users. (; @SheenaAllenApps)

Ela Emami of Care2Manage (Memphis, TN): Care2Manage is a robust, full-featured, web-based caregiver-focused technology that allows the personal support provider (professional caregiver, case manager, or nurse) to be fully integrated with the caregiver’s day-to-day life. The technology interfaces with any electronic medical record system or patient portal to ensure a complete picture of diagnoses, lab values, important health alerts, and physician recommendations. (; @Care2Manage)

Charlie Helms of WiFi Streaming Network (Flowood, MS): WiFi Streaming Network, WSN, provides clients with live video streaming capabilities. WSN works with high schools and junior colleges to use live video streaming as a means of revenue generation for their schools, providing the tools and technology to live stream sporting events, graduations, plays, band competitions, newscasts, and other school events. (; @WiFiSports)

Jason Stinnett of eVestweb (Jonesboro, AR): eVestweb is a social network for stock market investors that will create a forum for users to speak candidly about a stock and gain valuable feedback from others. eVestweb seeks to eliminate many of the common pain points for investors with forums, featured blogs, and investor education. (; @eVestweb)

bluffcityPeter Grumbles of Bluff City BBQ Supply (Memphis, TN): Bluff City BBQ Supply manufactures and distributes all the food and supplies for delicious BBQ for those with a more sophisticated palate: BBQ sauce and rubs; BBQ tools, and tailgating supplies; custom-built smokers and grills; and BBQ catering. Bluff City products can currently be purchased online or in eight stores in east Arkansas and the Greater Memphis region. (; @bluffcitybarbq)

 Additional Information about DRA and NOEW

The DRA works to improve regional economic opportunity by helping to create jobs, build communities, and improve the lives of the 10 million people who reside in the areas served by the DRA. For more information about them visit their website: You can also visit this page DRA Delta Entrepreneurship Network to find out more about the DRA Delta Entrepreneurship Network. Twitter hashtag: # DedltaChallenge2015

The IDEA Village is a non-profit organization that is the sponsor of the New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW) March 20-27, 2015. For more information about NOEW visit this page: Idea Village New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW).

Filed 2015-March-02 by James Strand for Costar Broadcasting and the Gulf Coast News Networks.

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