Grant money available for entrepreneurs in West Tennessee

JACKSON, Tenn. — Multiple companies are joining forces to offer entrepreneurs interesting opportunities in West Tennessee to grow their business.

Idea Accelorator

Heartland Forward is a company located in Arkansas, and their goal is to boost entrepreneurs in the center of the United States.

According Heartland Forward, the center region of the country ranks fairly low in economic metrics, workforce metrics, and health metrics.

Their goal is to bring life to entrepreneurship in this region. Heartland Forward is spearheading a program in conjunction with multiple other companies and think tanks, including theCO in Jackson, called the Idea Acceleration Program.

“To run a 90 day accelerator program that’s actually virtual. So the first 45 days are spent testing out your assumptions and really figuring out what your experiment is going to be. And then the second 45 days is actually going out and running an experiment on your solution,” said Katie Milligan, the Program Manager for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Heartland Forward.

This program is designed to give young entrepreneurs an opportunity grow their experiment. Heartland Forward describes your experiment as testing out your idea. This idea could be a business, event, or popup.

“One thing to add is that we’re open to all kinds of ideas. So if you have an idea for a nonprofit business, or for profit business, or a tech app, we want to see all kinds of ideas go through this program,” Milligan said.

One of the think tanks that partnered with Heartland Forward is theCO. They are serving as a link with Heartland Forward to the Jackson and West Tennessee area by helping them connect with entrepreneurs.

“I mean, we say we’re a hub for innovation. We have three areas of focus. One of them is entrepreneur support, and so that’s a big one for us, is providing kind of access to different resources, whether that’s information, or funds, or education, or people resources too. So this is just kind of another way for theCO to live out that mission,” said Lisa Gardner, the Executive Director of theCO.

For access to the application for the Idea Accelerator program, click here.

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