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Innovate Mississippi


Jackson, MS

Build to Scale Program

Capital Challenge

Project Name

Mississippi Rural Angel Funds (MRAF)

Award Amount

Federal Share

Local Match



This EDA investment will help build a more collaborative investment framework that supports and fosters the growth of Mississippi’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Innovate Mississippi proposes to create two new angel funds to address the gap in early-stage capital available to high-growth startups and would-be entrepreneurs in rural Mississippi through the Mississippi Rural Angel Funds (MRAF) project. By the end of the award period the North Delta/Oxford Angel Fund and the Mississippi River Region Angel Fund would have raised $2 million and recruited 80 investors to deploy equity capital into 20 Mississippi early-stage startups.

Both regions are primarily rural and include large numbers of underserved populations. The recent launch of Innovate Mississippi’s new statewide accelerator, CoBuilders, will assist Innovate Mississippi in this effort to form angel funds in underserved regions. Ultimately, MRAF will support Innovate Mississippi’s efforts to boost the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and source investors in rural areas where risk capital funds do not currently exist.

Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE)

Build To Scale (B2S)
formerly Regional Innovation Strategies Program (RIS)

SPRINT Challenge

STEM Talent Challenge

Accelerate R2 Network Challenge

National Advisory Council on Innovation & Entrepreneurship (NACIE)

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