NEWS: Delta Challenge pitch competition identifies three Alabama entrepreneurs as winners

October 09, 2015

SELMA, Ala. – The Delta Challenge pitch competition series has identified three more Delta Entrepreneurship Network fellows at its third pitch competition in Selma on Thursday, October 8, Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill announced. The competition saw entrepreneurs from across the Alabama Black Belt region pitch their ideas for a fellowship with the Delta Entrepreneurship Network.

“We are excited to see the Delta Entrepreneurship Network grow so much in one year. The entrepreneurs pitching at these Delta Challenge competitions represent all that is good with our region-creativity, drive, and innovation,” DRA Chairman Chris Masingill. “I'm proud that through the DEN, the DRA can connect entrepreneurs to the organizations, mentors, and investors that will help them achieve success. Congratulations to all; we look forward to working with these entrepreneurs in the coming months.”

The DEN fellowship includes future training workshops and the opportunity to participate in a special segment of New Orleans Entrepreneur Week—produced by The Idea Village—in March 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Network fellows will showcase their ideas to investors, participate in programmatic workshops, and connect with fellow entrepreneurs, industry experts, and mentors.

The competition identified three winners to receive the DEN fellowship and one alternate:

  • Robert Armstrong, Founder of Selma Good Co.-Selma, AL: Selma Good Co. makes G Momma’s Cookies: southern-style, bite-size cookies made from real ingredients, no preservatives, and no high fructose corn syrup and produced in small batches. Currently, there are two flavors: ButtaScotch Oatmeal and chocolate chip with pecans. Armstrong chose to locate operations as he expands in his hometown of Selma.
  • Amelia Thomas, Founder of Just PlugIn-Montgomery, AL: Just PlugIn has entered a business-to-business relationship where it recruits individuals who are seeking flexible and alternative work schedules to meet their individual needs by placing them with a virtual call center.
  • Ryan Bergeron, Founder of Revival Coffee-Selma, AL: Revival Coffee is a coffee roaster offering a variety of blends created by using specialty-grade coffee that also donates a portion of its profits to non-profits. It offers a variety of blends as well as flavored coffees.
  • Alternate-Patrick Wright, Inventor of the Wright Call that Calls ALL-McKenzie, AL: The Wright Call that calls ALL is a universal game call that communicates with your mobile phone without the hassle of carrying a lot of different game calls.

Each entrepreneur was given three minutes to pitch their idea to a panel of judges that represent business and community entities in the Alabama Black Belt area and have a background in entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurs looking to launch or grow their ideas or businesses are encouraged to register for other pitch competitions in the DRA region at dra.gov/entrepreneur. Three more Delta Challenge pitch competitions are being held in Cleveland, Mississippi, Little Rock, Arkansas and Lafayette, Louisiana, from which a total of 21 entrepreneurs will be identified. The two top-scoring alternates from the competition series will receive the final two DEN fellowships.

The Delta Challenge is part of the DRA’s Delta Entrepreneurship Network, which was created to identify, connect, nurture, and grow the entrepreneurial ecosystems that drive the Delta’s local and regional economies. The Network is addressing regional deficiencies in 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 $8.7 million in small businesses and entrepreneurs in the Delta, creating and retaining more than 1,250 jobs, training more than 1,400 entrepreneurs, and leveraging $16 million in other public and private investment. To learn more, visit dra.gov/entrepreneur.

Spencer Lucker
(202) 434-4842
slucker@dra.gov