Innovate Mississippi Presents

ACCELERATE: 20th annual Conference on Technology Innovation

Steve Case - Conference on Technology Innovation - Innovate Mississippi

November 12-13, 2019 

Save the date!
We’re excited to have Steve Case, venture capitalist and former CEO of America Online confirmed as our keynote speaker.




2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
The Company and Investor Spotlight is a showcase of some of the cool and interesting startups being developed in MS. This portion of the conference is free and open to the public.

Throughout the showcase, investor panels will offer educational info for both investors and entrepreneurs on topics such as what to expect during the investment process and how entrepreneurs and investors can connect remotely/virtually.

We invite investors, service providers, mentors, economic developers and other entrepreneurs to this session. All in all, there’s the opportunity to get some exposure and the possibility that entrepreneurs could make some valuable connections at the same time.

Note: The United States Patent and Trademark Office will discuss the new Patent Pro Bono Program for under-resourced inventors. Representatives will also be on site for individual meetings immediately after the Company & Investor Spotlight.​

Speaker and Sponsor Reception

5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Speakers and sponsors are invited to mingle and network as we welcome people to the Westin Jackson and look forward to the conference day on Thursday.

Jeffrey Rupp, Director of Outreach for Mississippi State University’s College of Business and former Mayor of Columbus, MS, will perform as our musical talent!​


2:00 pm

Be a part of our showcase event where startup companies talk about their new innovations and next steps towards growth. In response, investors will discuss what entrepreneurs need to know when seeking investment. Both groups will answer questions from the audience.

Companies pitching:
  • Bidmoni
  • Flowers to the Grave
  • Torrus
  • Cattlog
  • Lobaki
  • BacYeast
  • MetaGames
  • Campusknot
  • EasyKale



8:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.
At breakfast on November 13, we’ll hear from Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann and Nashlee Sephus, co-founder of PartPic and featured in the book “The Third Wave."


9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
Our Wednesday morning programming offers a TED-style look at Industry specific trends in Mississippi and nationwide, growth opportunities, and ideas for entrepreneurial development.


11:00 a.m. - 11:40 a.m.
This session features Vince Jordan of Lobaki with a look at the state of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality and the leadership role that Mississippi is poised to take in the industry.


12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Leslie Smith, CEO and president of epicenter in Memphis, discusses economic development through innovation and how to create an ecosystem to encourage progress.

Innovation alley

Join us on the mezzanine all day Wednesday, November 13th, for quality time with vendors offering innovative services and/or support for entrepreneurs in Mississippi.


We’ve assembled an exciting group of speakers for Accelerate: the Conference on Technology Innovation this year. From startup veterans to educators to economic developers, this group offers a deep look at the challenges facing Mississippi—and how we can turn those challenges into opportunities for innovation and growth.

Leslie Smith - Innovate Mississippi - COTI

Leslie Smith
President & CEO
Epicenter, Memphis

Keynote: Making a Big Bet on Innovation

Leslie Smith, president and CEO of Epicenter, the entrepreneurial hub of the Memphis region, will address the successes and challenges of ecosystem building in both the Detroit and Memphis markets.

Join us as she discusses lessons learned by serving entrepreneurs in two American cities, how to forge collaboration across ecosystem partners, how to address ecosystem gaps through innovative solutions, and why it's critical to take on risk -- especially in the Southeastern U.S. region -- to move our economies forward.

Nashlie Sephus - Accelerate - Innovate Mississippi

Dr. Nashlie Sephus
A9 Visual Search Team Leader

Breakfast Speaker: Starting Up the State

Dr. Nashlie H. Sephus leads the Amazon/A9 visual search tech team, launched after former startup Partpic, for which she was CTO, was acquired by Amazon. PartPic was featured in Steve Case's book The Third Wave.

Dr. Sephus is a native of Jackson, Mississippi and a 2003 graduate of Murrah High School/Power Academic and Performing Arts Complex (APAC). Along with her work at Amazon, she has recently formed a non-profit in Jackson to encourage technology entrepreneurship, called The Bean Path.

Delbert Hosemann - Accelerate 2018 - Innovate Mississippi

Delbert Hosemann
Secretary of State
State of Mississippi

Mississippi's Innovation Economy

Delbert Hosemann has served as the Mississippi Secretary of State since his election in 2007. His focus in the office has been to ensure the integrity of Mississippi’s vote, ethically manage state lands, and make the state more business-friendly and attractive for economic development.

During the breakfast hour, Secretary Hosemann will share new workforce development initiatives and how the Secretary of State’s office helps Mississippi entrepreneurs.

Vince Jordan - Accelerate - Conference on Technology Innovation

Vince Jordan
President and CEO
Lobaki, Inc.

Mississippi's Virtual Future

Vince Jordan is launching one of the most advanced laboratories for creating virtual reality and augmented reality content in the world—right here in Jackson, Mississippi.

Jordan will discuss the state of the VR & AR industry, how it is being adopted in education, health care and industrial training, the opportunities for entrepreneurs as this industry is growing rapidly and finally what we are doing here in Mississippi to take advantage of this unique industry opportunity.

Bobby Rappai - speaker - Accelerate - Innovate Mississippi

Bobby Rappai
Director of Software Development
Camgian Microsystems

The Disruptive Power of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Bobby Rappai, Director of Software Development at Camgian Microsystems, leads the software development for Camgian’s award-winning, patented IOT product Egburt that uses integrated sensing and analytics platforms to deliver real-time actionable intelligence at scale leveraging innovations in the areas of multi-sensing, artificial intelligence, and big data analytics.

Bobby came to Camgian with extensive technology and leadership experience from Verizon, where he managed cross platform/functional teams dealing with large scale network data processing in real-time for billing, carrier settlements, financial reporting, audits, big data predictive analytics, fraud detection, and customer usage notification.

Joe Donovan - MDA - Accelerate Conference on Technology Innovation

Joe Donovan
Entrepreneur Center Director
Mississippi Development Authority

The State of the State in Entrepreneurship

Joe Donovan is Division Director for The Entrepreneur Center @ Mississippi Development Authority. Joe's primary responsibility is to re-organize The Entrepreneur Center, develop an environment that 'raises entrepreneurs' and build an entrepreneurial eco-system to develop and attract start-up businesses to Mississippi.

Described by the Mississippi Business Journal as a "serial entrepreneur," Joe was the first Director of Entrepreneurial Development at Millsaps College after serving as the director of the MS Center for Non-Profits

Prior to that he had 25 years of progressive senior management experience.

Michael Adcock - Accelerate - COTI - Innovate Mississippi

Michael Adcock
Executive Director
UMMC Center for Telehealth

Growth and Opportunity in Virtual Medical Care

Michael Adcock is a national leader in the fast-growing business of telehealth. As executive director for the Center for Telehealth at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, he guides the strategy and expansion of virtual medical care in communities across the region.

Michael earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from UMMC. He’s vice chairman of the Mississippi Telehealth Association board of directors, and a member of the American Medical Association’s Digital Medicine Payment Advisory Group and Connected Health Initiative.

Joseph Graben - Accelerate: Conference on Technology Innovation

Joseph Graben
Program Manager
University of Southern Mississippi

Mississippi's Blue Economy: What Is It and Why Is It Important?

Joseph Graden currently serves as the Program Manager for the U.S. Small Business Administration's Regional Innovation Clusters contract to the Marine Industries Science & Technology (MIST) Cluster supporting economic growth in marine industries in the Northern Gulf of Mexico region.

Joseph has a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Mississippi State and an MBA from University of Southern Mississippi.

Luncheon Keynote:
"Making a big bet on innovation"

Leslie Smith
President and CEO of Epicenter

Leslie Smith, president and CEO of Epicenter, the entrepreneurial hub of the Memphis region, will address the successes and challenges of ecosystem building in both the Detroit and Memphis markets. Join us as she discusses lessons learned by serving entrepreneurs in two American cities, how to forge collaboration across ecosystem partners, how to address ecosystem gaps through innovative solutions, and why it’s critical to take on risk — especially in the Southeastern U.S. region — to move our economies forward.

Registration and sponsorship

Our goal is to make the Conference on Technology Innovation of value for both individuals and corporate sponsors. Please see the items below for details on pricing and registration.

exhibitors & event sponsors

$1500 and up

  • Technology Champion Sponsorship ($1500)
    Exhibit space on Innovation Alley, company logo in program and 8 tickets to all events.
  • Coffee & Contacts Sponsorship ($2500)
    Exhibit space on Innovation Alley, company logo in program, special networking event in your booth and 8 tickets for all events.
  • Innovation Leader Sponsorship ($5000)
    Exclusive event sponsorship, premium booth space on Innovation Alley, 10 tickets (reserved table) for all events.

entrepreneurs & executives

$250 and up

  • Entrepreneur Sponsorship ($250)
    Tickets for two and recognition in our program

  • Executive Partner Sponsorship ($550)
    Tickets for four and recognition in our program


$75 full conference

  • Wednesday 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Breakfast
  • Tech Sessions
  • Luncheon


This conference is for you! We’ve scheduled special opportunities to meet new people, learn more about colleagues and improve the dialogue on technology innovation in the Magnolia state.

Speaker and Sponsor Reception
5:30 PM

Sponsors and speakers join us for a special networking reception in downtown Jackson.

Wednesday Breakfast
8:00 AM

Join us for keynote speaker Dr. Roberto Gallardo to start the full day of programming.

Coffee & Contacts
(Multiple Times)

Network and visit vendors between sessions with themed breaks including coffee, local pastries and cake pops!

Wine Down Wednesday
4:00 PM

Wine Down Wednesday offers one more chance to make connections and visit Innovation Alley.

our sponsors

Innovation Leaders


Technology Champions




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