Delta Regional Authority
March 31, 2016  
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Delta News Round-up

In this Issue: DEN showcases Delta entrepreneurs at NOEW 2016 | ASU to launch Regional Innovation System
ECRC workshops reach midpoint in training series | Federal disaster assistance and resources for flood victims

Delta Entrepreneurs showcase their ideas and innovations at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week

The Delta Entrepreneurship Network hosted a week full of events for 19 entrepreneurs and 13 ESOs in its second year partnering with New Orleans Entrepreneur Week. This year was highlighted by the Delta Entrepreneur Showcase at which the 19 DEN entrepreneurs pitched their products and business models to investors, judges, other entrepreneurs, and the public. Three finalists were identified to pitch on the big stage to a panel of judges. Congratulations to the following winners!

  • 1st Place: Spencer Jones of LineGard Med
  • 2nd Place: Kayla Rodriguez, Isaac Rodriguez, and Marsalas Whitaker of SweetBio
  • 3rd Place: Tina McCord of ZUNI Learning Tree

From the initial round-robin pitches, two audience favorites were identified too: Sandeep Pednekar of Renewable Energies, Inc. and Joel Halpern of Musistic.

Also part of the week, DEN hosted presidents and leadership from 12 Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the Delta for a roundtable conversation about how to build a more inclusive ecosystem that supports the growth of minority entrepreneurs. After the roundtable, the group visited the GoodWork Network to learn about their efforts to empower minority entrepreneurs and business owners.

Read the full release >

Arkansas State launches East Arkansas Regional Innovation System with i6 Challenge grant

Arkansas State University in Jonesboro will soon launch the East Arkansas Regional Innovation System with $1.39 million in funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, DRA, and Ritter Communications along with in-kind matching from other entities. DRA announced this week its $50,000 investment that will help A-State extend EARIS services to entrepreneurs in the surrounding rural communities outside of Jonesboro. 

The goal for EARIS, a collaborative regional partnership, is to meet two identified needs of the region: coordination and streamlining of support services and resources for entrepreneurs and inventors via a Proof of Concept Center (POCC) and fostering opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship in rural east Arkansas communities. A-State is one of 25 institutions across the country awarded a 2016 i6 Challenge grant.

Read the initial announcement of the i6 Challenge grant >

ECRC Workshops continue, reaching 300 community leaders so far

Local elected officials, economic developers, and community leaders attended the 15th workshop of the Leading Economically Competitive and Resilient Communities series in Luling, Louisiana, this week. In the first half of the training series, 300 participants have taken advantage of the skills development, planning and guidance, successful models, and connection to state and federal resources that these workshops provide through IEDC and other experts in both the economic development and disaster resilience fields.

The workshop in Luling covered the economic development strategies module. The other module of the workshop focuses on disaster resilience and economic recovery in the face of disasters. There are 16 more workshops to be held throughout all eight states through August. Four workshops will be held in Alabama, Illinois, Mississippi, and Missouri in the month of April, and registration is still open at

Register for a workshop in your area today >

Federal resources available to Louisiana parishes and Mississippi counties for disaster recovery

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced that federal disaster assistance has been made available to 24 Louisiana parishes and 3 Mississippi counties in DRA's footprint to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms and flooding beginning on March 8, 2016.

The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in those counties and parishes.  Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.  There are 17 disaster recovery centers in Louisiana to help residents access assistance.                      

Learn more about assistance available to communities impacted by the floods >

Upcoming Events:

Register or Apply Today

April 5, 2016 - April 7, 2016
DLI Executive Academy - Session IV
Greenville, AL
April 11, 2016 - April 12, 2016
ECRC Training on Disaster Recovery- Greenville, Alabama
April 14, 2016 - April 15, 2016
ECRC Training on Disaster Recovery- Jackson, Mississippi
April 14, 2016 - April 15, 2016
FY 2016 LDD Academy
Register at
May 17, 2016
Quarterly Board Meeting - FY16 Q3
April 25, 2016 - April 26, 2016
ECRC Training on Economic Development- Marion, Illinois
April 28, 2016 - April 29, 2016
ECRC Training on Disaster Recovery- St. James, Missouri

Click Here To Submit An Event

Announcements From Our Partners:

Delta Regional Authority

236 Sharkey Avenue - Suite 400
Clarksdale, MS 38614
(662) 624-8600 | DRA.GOV

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