MSU tech and startup efforts at MCITy in Vicksburg spurred by SBA award

Published 3:00 pm Thursday, December 7, 2023

Mississippi State has been awarded a $150,000 cash prize from the U.S. Small Business Administration to bolster the university’s work in Vicksburg to support the launch, growth and scale of STEM/research and development-focused small businesses.

The funding is from the SBA’s 2023 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition, marking the second time this year MSU has been awarded a cash prize in the contest. Winners were selected through a multi-tier review panel process by experts in entrepreneurship, business, innovation, and strategic planning.

“It is exciting to see our work in growing Vicksburg’s technology and entrepreneurship sectors once again recognized by SBA with a cash prize,” said Tasha Bibb, senior program manager in MSU’s Office of Technology Management. “This initiative is truly a team effort and the ecosystem we are building here continues to grow.”

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This new round of funding expands MSU’s current efforts in developing a cohort of STEM/R&D-focused entrepreneurs and hosting pitch competitions. It also allows for the creation of a more formalized network of companies which have successfully pursued funding from

Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs, designed to encourage small businesses to engage in federally funded research and development. The theme for MSU’s award is “National Security and Global Competitiveness,” with partners that include MSU’s Office of Technology Management, Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach, and Institute for Systems Engineering Research. External partners include Innovate Mississippi, the University of Southern Mississippi’s Office of Innovation Management, Mississippi Small Business Development Center and the Sen. Thad Cochran Mississippi Center for Information and Technology, commonly known as MCITy.

MSU’s presence at MCITy in Vicksburg includes an office for the Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach, as well as the Office of Technology Management. As part of a state-funded program, MSU and fellow Mississippi Research Consortium universities are enhancing technology transfer and entrepreneurial programs related to federal research taking place in the state. MSU also has a long-standing partnership with the Vicksburg-based U.S. Army Engineering Research and Development Center, which includes the joint creation of the Institute for Systems Engineering Research in 2014.