NEWS: Delta Regional Authority Announces Tennessee Winners of 2017 Delta Challenge

September 29, 2016

Local entrepreneurs win training, resources, and opportunity to pitch ideas at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week

Chairman Masingill: "These entrepreneurs represent some of the best the Delta has to offer"

JACKSON, TN – Three West Tennessee-based entrepreneurs entrepreneurs, and one alternate, were selected last night as winners of the third annual Delta Entrepreneurship Network fellowship, Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill announced.

The winners will receive intensive technical assistance training, including development support for their business plans and detailed feedback on their product pitches, as well as the opportunity to pitch at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week beginning on March 19th, 2017.

"These entrepreneurs represent some of the best the Delta has to offer. They are converting what makes our part of the world great – our people, our culture, and our history – into successful business ideas and opportunities. As the Delta Entrepreneurship Network grows, I am excited to work with this new class of fellows to strengthen entrepreneurial development in the region and build a robust ecosystem of talented business leaders," DRA Chairman Chris Masingill said.

The list of winning fellows from the Tennessee pitch competition are:

  • Skycision: Brendan Carroll, Memphis, TN: Skycision provides a Software-as-a-Service solution to the global agriculture industry that enables farmers to detect crop stress earlier in the growing season, and enables growers to make yield enhancing and cost reducing decisions that positively impact their bottom line.
  • Somavac Medical Solutions, Inc.: Josh Herwig, Memphis, TN: SOMAVAC Medical is creating a wearable, ultra‐low profile, low power suction device for removal of post-surgical fluid. The device is easy to conceal and operate and has a disposable reservoir with graduations for measurements that can be easily attached or detached.
  • B‐G Innovative Safety Systems LLC: Marcus Boykin, Lexington, TN: B-G offers the patented and trademarked Lighting Bug Technology for the automotive industry. This technology is an easy-to-install plug-adaptable module to a vehicle's headlight. It monitors the headlights for failed conditions and provides an auxiliary light when the low beam fails by automatically depowering the high beam to work as both a high beam and low beam under the circumstances.
  • ALTERNATE - Xcellent Life: Victor Brown, Lexington, TN: The Xcellent Life Cloud Platform is a software platform powered by analytics and advanced artificial intelligence to empower wellness. The platform powers a mobile application with the ability to provide personalized insights to each individual about their health.


  • Access to a series of technical assistance trainings and business development resources
  • Introduction to regional mentoring and networking opportunities 
  • Participation in special programming during 2017 New Orleans Entrepreneur Week

Delta entrepreneurs are encouraged to attend one of the remaining pitch competitions and small business fairs:

October 11, 2016               Livingston, AL                    University of West Alabama

November 1, 2016             Ruston, LA                          Louisiana Tech University

November 18, 2016           Cape Girardeau, MO         Codefi

The Delta Entrepreneurship Network is a program of the Delta Regional Authority created to identify, connect, and grow the entrepreneurial ecosystems that drive the Delta's local and regional economies. The DEN is addressing regional deficiencies in access to affordable capital, training, and best practices for entrepreneurship through a connected infrastructure of support organizations, investors, and educators. 

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. Through its Small Business and Entrepreneurship Initiative, the DRA has invested $9.4 million in small businesses and entrepreneurs in the Delta, creating and retaining 1,340 jobs and leveraging nearly $17 million in other public and private investment. To learn more, visit


Media Contact: John Collins