Delta Showcase features 50 entrepreneurs, support organizations to pitch businesses

March 21, 2017

Delta Regional Authority gives exclusive access to entrepreneurs

NEW ORLEANS, LA. – The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) is bringing more than a dozen entrepreneurs from across the Delta region to participate in New Orleans Entrepreneur Week where they will have opportunities to attract additional capital and technical expertise to help grow their businesses and organizations. In addition, DRA is bringing several entrepreneurial support organizations and six student entrepreneurs from Historically Black Colleges and Universities here for the week.

“These individual and organizations will gain unprecedented access to business development programming, financial and technical expertise during entrepreneurial week,” DRA Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill said.

Entrepreneurs will be featured March 21 in the Three Keys room at the Ace Hotel. Each entrepreneur will pitch their business to a panel of independent judges who are experts in providing the guidance and investment opportunities that startups and new businesses need to grow.

“DRA is proud to give these entrepreneurs and organizations access to some of the nation’s top venture capitalists and technical experts,” Masingill said. “They represent the entrepreneurial spirit that is thriving across the Delta and they will play a vital role in the continued economic development and job creation for our communities.”

The 16 entrepreneurs and their hometowns are:

  • B-G Safety Systems, Marcus Boykin, Lexington, TN
  • Betaflix, Sreenivasa Sanakam, Ruston, LA
  • Bootsie’s Delta Funk BBQ, Peter Grumbles, Pope, MS
  • Cocoa Belle Chocolates, Carmen Portillo, Little Rock, AR
  • Cosmetic Car Tech, Jason Todt, Marble Hill, MO
  • Edible Education, Ann Butler, Cape Girardeau, MO
  • EntreLinc, Amelia Thomas, Memphis, TN
  • HABERDAShe, Smydge Perry, New Orleans, LA
  • KALIKOE Galaxy, Quentin Allen, Pine Bluff, AR
  • My Veggie Chef, Mark Rigdon, Cape Girardeau, MO
  • Myra Mirrors, Pontus Andersson, Oxford, MS
  • Nature’s Own Carol’s Spring Water, Moses Weaver, Tuskegee, AL
  • RaftUp, Corey Boelkens, Little Rock, AR
  • Skycision, Brendan Carroll, Memphis, TN
  • Somavac, Josh Herwig, Memphis, TN
  • Think I.N.K., Carl Morgan, Tuskegee, AL

The participating student businesses and their schools are:

  • ​4799 Ville, Jaqurious Smith, Rust College
  • 4 Girls Only, Donna Brewer, University of Arkansas Pine Bluff
  • Annuel Energy, Emmanuel Bukenya, Southern University, Annuel Energy
  • Inspirational Undies, Anissa Stewart, Philander Smith University
  • Okiido, Decemius Strong, Mississippi Valley State University
  • Teshuater, Larry Leonard Jr. , Grambling State University

The Delta Entrepreneurship Network was started three years ago as part of DRA’s  Small Business & Entrepreneurial Development initiative. DRA has worked with industry experts, lenders, and entrepreneurial support organizations to help build a connective ecosystem that develops and grows startups and small businesses.

DRA investments have helped train more than 1,000 current and aspiring small-business owners. These investments in entrepreneurs and support programs have reached $11 million, with a total of $27 million being leveraged in partner dollars.

“The Delta Entrepreneurship Network identifies, nurtures, and grows entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial support organizations through a competitive fellowship program,” Masingill said. “Building a connective entrepreneurial ecosystem across the Delta is a team effort and we’re proud to be part of the effort.”

Featuring our Delta entrepreneurs and support organizations this week culminates a three-year partnership with The Idea Village, a New Orleans-based group that is one of the nation’s leading entrepreneurial support organizatons.

NOEW provides a unique setting and access for these entrepreneurs. In 2016, the event had over 13,000 participants (an increase of 25% from 2015) and nearly $650,000 in capital and in-kind resources awarded to attending entrepreneurs. 

The pitch competition will be streamed live on DRA’s Facebook page at

About the Delta Regional Authority

The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives through strategic investments in economic development in 252 counties and parishes across eight states. To date, the DRA’s SEDAP investments, together with its state and local partners, have leveraged federal resources into more than $3.3 billion in public and private investment into local small business owners, entrepreneurs, workforce improvement, and infrastructure development projects. DRA investments have helped to create and retain more than 26,000 jobs, train more than 7,200 workers for 21st Century jobs, and deliver water and sewer improvements to more than 64,000 residents. Learn more at


Media Contact:
Andrew Moreau