Entrepreneurs share their visions with investors during Innovate MS’s “Pitch Day”

Published: Jul. 28, 2022 at 7:02 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Entrepreneurs and small businesses laid it all on the line today to get a chance at seed money to take their dreams to the next level. Innovate MS and Microsoft are teaming up with financial backers to possibly help make their state’s next power company.

“We aim to be an all-in-one hub for personalized care,” Sajani Barot told a crowd Thursday at Fertile Ground Beer Company in Jackson.

Barot and Sarah Malouf, founders of The Skin Consultant, are on stage in front of investors and Microsoft in hopes of getting funding for their Ridgeland dermatology and aesthetic company. They are one of 14 small businesses and start-ups, getting a shot at expanding during Innovate Mississippi’s first Pitch Day.

“We hope to get funding one to hire out team of people to help us with marketing with business development, sales, complete the build of our software, and yes to have some retail space as well,” said Barot.

Entrepreneurs gave their pitches and then took questions from investors about their services and products. Microsoft Philanthropies is now in the state partnering with Innovate MS to help businesses here succeed.

“They receive mentor support and a few other resources that help them get the businesses off the ground and then this is the pilot for it,” said J.J. Townsend the lead for Microsoft Philanthropies in Mississippi. “So we’re excited to see where this partnership goes after the second, third year as well.”

LeJeune Johnson of Therapy Plus in Ridgeland hopes for backing for her teletherapy company.

“We’re dedicated to providing therapeutic services, and wellness services to the children and families of Mississippi. We primarily serve the Jackson metro area,” said Johnson. “The exposure, the ability to build connections is priceless. So I’m already walking away a winner.”

Each participant has already received up to $8,000.00 and could get $150,000.00-$200,000.00 if backers fund their idea.

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