Best Practices

Delta Challenge for Entrepreneurial Service Organizations

Published Sep 22, 2015 by Sarah Mote

Delta Entrepreneurship Network (DEN) is seeking its second round of fellows—up to 20 entrepreneurs and 16 entrepreneurship  service organizations—to join the inaugural class of DEN fellows through six Delta Challenge pitch competitions across the eight-state Delta region this fall.

The Delta Challenge begins with a full-day kickoff event in Memphis, Tenn. and over the course of the six competitions will identify  the entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship support organizations (ESOs) for the DEN fellowship.

Those entrepreneurs and ESOs will receive a fellowship for technical assistance and training to enhance entrepreneurship capacity and opportunities in the Delta region. The fellows will also participate in a special segment of New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW), a premier entrepreneurship festival in the South produced by the Idea Village, leveraging engaging workshops and mentorship from panelists and other industry experts. NOEW is scheduled for March 11-18, 2016.

Why the Delta Challenge?

“Research indicates that 75 percent of all venture capital is being invested in just three states, California, New York, and Massachusetts,” said Tim Williamson, Co-founder and CEO of ​the Idea Village. “By partnering with the DRA, we are leveraging our collective efforts to showcase the South as a hub for innovation, entrepreneurship, and new thinking.”  

Entrepreneurship support organizations that serve communities and entrepreneurs in the 252 counties and parishes within the DRA’s footprint must submit an application online at dra.gov/entrepreneur outlining the current services they provide and their expectations for utilizing DEN technical assistance and programming. The application for ESOs will close October 23 at midnight.