Mississippi Blues Marathon, Beckham Custom Jewelry and New Venture Challenge | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Mississippi Blues Marathon, Beckham Custom Jewelry and New Venture Challenge

Mississippi Blues Marathon director John Noblin announced Monday, Sept. 18, that Continental Tire the Americas has signed on to serve as the presenting sponsor for the 11th annual race in Jackson on Jan. 27, 2018. Trip Burns/File Photo

Mississippi Blues Marathon director John Noblin announced Monday, Sept. 18, that Continental Tire the Americas has signed on to serve as the presenting sponsor for the 11th annual race in Jackson on Jan. 27, 2018. Trip Burns/File Photo

Mississippi Blues Marathon director John Noblin announced Monday, Sept. 18, that Continental Tire the Americas has signed on to serve as the presenting sponsor for the 11th annual race in Jackson on Jan. 27, 2018.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi, the event's previous presenting sponsor, announced just before the 2017 race that it would discontinue its sponsorship to concentrate resources on its own annual Kids' One-Mile Fun Run.

"This new sponsorship is several months in the works and just became final two weeks ago," Noblin told the Jackson Free Press. "We approached Continental about becoming our new sponsor this summer because, with it being an international company that's new to the area, we figured they would have the resources and that this would be a good way for them to align themselves with the community. I think this sponsorship will make for a good introduction to Jackson."

Continental broke ground on its new tire-manufacturing facility just outside of Jackson last year and will begin production in 2019. Visit Jackson will also be an event sponsor for the 2018 marathon.

The Blues Marathon has also moved from the first or second Saturday of January to the final Saturday. Noblin told the Jackson Free Press that race officials made the change to avoid conflicting with the Walt Disney World Marathon and the Louisiana Marathon, also placing the event further from the Christmas and New Year's season.

The Mississippi Blues Marathon includes a marathon, half marathon, quarter marathon and team-relay marathon. Race registration for the next event will open Sept. 20 at 10 a.m. For more information, visit msbluesmarathon.com.

Beckham Custom Jewelry Opens New Location

Beckham Custom Jewelry Co., which opened in LeFleur's Gallery four years ago, closed in July of this year to relocate to a new, larger location. Following a soft opening in August, the store held a grand opening on Sept. 15 for its new location at The District at Eastover (120 District Blvd., Suite D-110).

At 2,000 square feet, the new store is twice the size of the former location, making room for more in-house manufacturing and casting equipment, as well as redesigned showcases.

"Our new jewelry cases are all at eye level, allowing us to do business with our customers shoulder-to-shoulder in a more casual setting," owner and master jeweler Brian Beckham told the Jackson Free Press. "We also added a second design room with computer modeling and 3D printing equipment to help customers design their own custom jewelry for production. We also offer the option to recycle materials from other jewelry. Our ultimate goal is to create unique items designed and produced in Jackson."

Beckham Custom Jewelry Co. is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 601-665-4642 or visit beckhamjewelry.com.

Innovate Mississippi Hosts New Venture Challenge

Innovate Mississippi, a nonprofit organization that promotes technology-based economic development in the state, will host its annual pitch competition, the Mississippi New Venture Challenge, on Tuesday, Oct. 17, at the Jackson Marriott hotel (200 E. Amite St.).

The challenge takes place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and is the first event in Innovate Mississippi's Conference on Technology Innovation, which runs through Wednesday, Oct. 18. The application deadline ended on Sept. 15.

During the competition, teams of students and representatives from startups and existing companies will present and promote their business plans to state entrepreneurs and investors. Each team will work together with a mentor to assist in preparation for the competition. Mentors include investors, Venture Coaching Academy fellows and industry experts, who Innovate Mississippi will match with teams based on their areas of expertise and experience.

Winners will receive cash prizes as well as resources to help grow their businesses, including complimentary services from attorneys, accountants, marketing experts and web developers. Innovate Mississippi will also feature the winners at its Shark Tank Live event on Wednesday during the Conference on Technology Innovation.

Tickets to the conference are $75 per person and can be purchased at eventbrite.com. For more information, call 601-960-3610 or visit innovate.ms.

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