Incubator at Stennis matches grant money

Donna Melton, Sun Herald — The Mississippi Enterprise for Technology plans to match a $600,000 grant from the Economic Development Administration with $75,000 of its own money in order to bring more jobs to South Mississippi.

The Mississippi Development Authority chipped in another $80,000 for the cause.

The EDA grant is part of more than $1 million handed out at the close of 2009 to be used for job creation, with an aim to strengthen the economy in Mississippi.

That’s exactly what MsET does, said President and CEO Charlie Beasley.

Located at Stennis Space Center, MsET caters to high-technology businesses. Currently, MsET nurtures 12 incubator businesses to help them get a jump start in their fields. MsET is a bit different than most small business incubators because of their access to technological resources with NASA, the U.S. Navy, Mississippi Research Consortium and other state and federal research labs.

The grant will be used for “organizational sustainability,” Beasley said. “This will assist MsET in being the most effective it can be, bringing the most value to its clients and partners, and to have a strategy to keep it in existence,” he said.

The project will increase MsET’s sustainability by creating programs that provide new levels of service to clients, increase regional economic impact and develop a funding structure that puts available revenue to its best use, he said.

“Our mission is to create employment opportunities, facilitate business and improve quality of life by leveraging Stennis Space Center as a catalyst,” Beasley said.

He said MsET hopes to form more regional partnerships, including companies that may not be located at Stennis.

“The incubator program has been limited to the services we can provide within the walls we have here,” he said.

The University of Southern Mississippi is a partner on the project and Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District helped them navigate through the application process, Beasley said.

MsET also supports 10 other companies that have a presence at Stennis and offers an assistance program that helps industries access NASA labs, he said.

© Mississippi Enterprise for Technology // 1103 Balch Blvd Suite 143 // Stennis Space Center, MS 39529 // (228) 688-3144