Entrepreneurs share their visions with investors at Innovate MS’ Pitch Day

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – Entrepreneurs and small businesses are putting everything on the line today for a chance to secure seed capital to take their dreams to the next level. Innovate MS and Microsoft are teaming up with backers to eventually help create 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, take to the stage in front of investors and Microsoft in hopes of securing funding for their dermatology and aesthetics company Ridgeland. It’s one of 14 small businesses and start-ups trying to grow on Innovate Mississippi’s inaugural Pitch Day.

“We’re hoping to get some funding from that to hire a team of people to help us with marketing with business development, sales, finish building our software, and yes to have a retail space as well,” Barot said. .

The entrepreneurs presented their arguments and then answered 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 get mentor support and a few other resources that help them start the businesses, and then that’s the driver for that,” said JJ Townsend, head of 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 to support his teletherapy business.

“We are committed to providing therapeutic services and wellness services to children and families in Mississippi. We primarily serve the Jackson metropolitan area,” Johnson said. “The exposure, the ability to make connections is priceless. So I’m leaving already a winner.

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

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