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Mississippi’s traditional economies—agriculture, energy, oceans and healthcare—are being rapidly reshaped by technology.
At this year’s Accelerate conference, we explore the resources and opportunities that Mississippi can leverage by embracing a technology-driven economy, even in traditional economic sectors.


Company & Investor Spotlight

1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Join us for a showcase of Mississippi startup companies in various stages of funding as they make their pitch. Special sessions featuring investors and mentors will discuss the finance landscape in the state.

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 Wednesday.



The Company and Investor Spotlight is a half-day dedicated to showcasing some exciting startups that entrepreneurs have launched in Mississippi. The showcase will also feature investor panels with educational info for both investors and entrepreneurs on topics such as the investment process and access to remote investors and opportunities.

Networking opportunities are built in to allow for further discussion. We invite investors, service providers, mentors, economic developers and other entrepreneurs to this session. The Spotlight offers an opportunity for Mississippi entrepreneurs to gain some exposure for their venture while making valuable connections with mentors, potential investors and others in the innovation ecosystem. 

You won’t want to miss this exciting event!
Company Pitches:
  • AI Control Technologies – Chris Webb
  • Bloom Technologies – Melissa Bloom
  • ConnectVNA – John Welch
  • Jordan Analytics – Christina Jordan
  • Moonshine – Raj Ramarao
  • Primp – Ali Bridgers and Kirk Milman
  • Stalwart Medical Innovations – Dustin Ford
  • Time Touch Take – Barbara Coatney
  • Tribly – Seth Power
  • Wispr – Conor Ferguson



7:30 a.m.

Come grab your badge, a cup of coffee and start mingling with attendees and vendors on Innovation Alley.


8:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.

2022 Legislative Session Update by Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann, followed by "Only the Paranoid Survive: Get on Board or Get Left Behind" by Innovate Mississippi President & CEO Tony Jeff.

Big ideas

9:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Mississippi’s economy is poised for a once-in-a-generation opportunity to expand economic opportunity, improve quality of life for its citizens and reverse brain drain.


9:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

The Block and Tackle track covers those moments when the rubber meets the road for entrepreneurs in the Mississippi entrepreneurial ecosystem.


12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

JF Gauthier is a Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur, Founder & CEO of Startup Genome and a leading expert in innovation ecosystem development.


9:30am – 11:45 a.m. – BY APPOINTMENT

The VIP & Mentor Lounge offers pre-scheduled, 20-minute meetings between our high-level attendees and entrepreneurs. (Please RSVP!)

This is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to have access to some of Mississippi’s most successful business leaders along with several service providers and mentors to get one-on-one advice on starting, growing and scaling your business.


  • Jan & Lawrence Farrington
  • Jim Lowery
  • Bill Rayburn & Lois Lovelady-Rayburn
  • Ben Walton


  • Tom Bunting (IT and Sales)
  • Bryan Carter (Marketing, Media, Advertising
  • Sunny Desai (Fundraising, General Business)
  • Dr. Lurlene Irvin (Finance, Fundraising, General Business)
  • Mike Morgan (Finance, Fundraising, General Business)
  • Darryl Pieroni (Sales, Marketing)
  • Whit Rayner (Patent Law)


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

Allyson Best
University of Mississippi

Allyson Best is the director of technology commercialization at the University of Mississippi. She has a bachelors from Clemson University in marketing and an MBA with a focus on pharmaceutical science from the University of Mississippi.

Almesha L. Campbell, Ph.D
Jackson State University

Almesha L. Campbell, Ph.D. is the Assistant Vice President for Research and Economic Development at Jackson State University (JSU). She designs and manages programs around innovation, technology transfer, and commercialization in an effort to broaden the participation of underrepresented minorities in these areas.

Jeremy Clay
Mississippi State University

Jeremy Clay is director of MSU’s Office of Technology Management, the unit charged with efficiently capturing, protecting, managing and accelerating the commercialization of university-owned and -generated intellectual property.

Brian Cuevas

Dr. Brian Cuevas
University of Southern Mississippi

Dr. Brian Cuevas is the Director of the Office of Technology Development at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) and has over fifteen years of industry experience in the development of highly regulated medical products.

Joe Donovan - MDA - Accelerate Conference on Technology Innovation

Joe Donovan
Mississippi Development Authority

Mr. Donovan currently is the Director of The Office of Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship @ Mississippi Development Authority. Donovan primary responsible for focusing Mississippi on growing the knowledge based economic development through developing an eco-system focusing on emerging technologies.

J. F. Gauthier

J. F. Gauthier
Founder & CEO, Startup Genome

JF Gauthier is a Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur and Founder & CEO of Startup Genome. He is the world’s leading expert in innovation ecosystem development, having advised—and learned from—more than 100 governments and private-public partnerships across 40 countries.

Adam Horlock

Adam Horlock
BCM, Office Evolution Flowood MS

Adam Horlock is currently the BCM (Business Center Manager) for Mississippi’s first Office Evolution. Office Evolution is the nation’s largest locally owned and operated coworking network, with over 80 locations in 25 states.

Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann

Delbert Hosemann
Lieutenant Governor

Elected in November 2019 with more than 60 percent of the vote, the Honorable Delbert Hosemann is serving as Mississippi’s 33rd Lieutenant Governor. He previously served as Secretary of State. Lt. Governor Hosemann is committed to serving the public with open and fair government.

Eric Hughes
Brand Manager and Creative Director

As a Brand Manager and Creative Director for leading national brands and award-winning ad agencies, Eric has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs, startups, and national brands create breakthrough marketing strategies and campaigns that disrupt markets, nail goals, and drive results.


Tony Jeff
President and CEO, Innovate Mississippi

Tony Jeff serves as the president and CEO for Innovate Mississippi. He’s a technology evangelist who speaks regularly on emerging trends and strategies in technology and innovation commercialization.

Laura Johns

Laura Johns
Founder & CEO, The Business Growers

Laura Johns is Founder and CEO of The Business Growers, a results-driven marketing firm based in Jackson, Mississippi. For nearly 20 years, Laura has led and managed marketing efforts for companies from technology startups and global, multi-billion dollar businesses.

Amber Johnson

Dr. Amber Johnson
Owner, Kidult Life

Dr. Amber Johnson, a native of Jackson, Miss., is an entrepreneur and techie. She is the owner of The Kidult Life, a lifestyle brand she founded after becoming the first black woman to graduate with a PhD in Computer Science from Purdue University.

Janice Karcher

Janice Karcher
Chief Innovation Officer, ERDCWERX

As Chief Innovation Officer, Janice Karcher’s role at ERDCWERX includes the support of ERDC innovation and commercialization including the strategic engagement of industry and academic partners.

Tim Mask
President and CEO, Maris, West & Baker

Tim oversees brand planning, marketing strategy, and digital media strategy for partner clients and works for organizations including the Mississippi Development Authority, Entergy Nuclear, and the Mississippi State Department of Health.

Cade Moody

Cade Moody
Technology Specialist, Wade, Inc.

Cade Moody is an Agricultural Technology Specialist at Wade, Inc., a prominent John Deere dealer in north Mississippi. He studied Agricultural Engineering, Technology and Business before getting his master’s degree in Agribusiness Management at Mississippi State University.

Michael Mosher
The University of Mississippi

Michael Mosher is the Associate Director in the University of Mississippi’s Office of Technology Commercialization. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry and Psychology from Carleton College, a JD from The John Marshall Law School with a focus on Intellectual Property Law and a Master’s Degree in Nanoscience from Arizona State University.

Cliff Osbon

Cliff Osbon
Owner, Office Evolution Flowood MS

Cliff Osbon is a serial entrepreneur who as led several successful ventures. Cliff currently consults for various healthcare industry stakeholders. He and his wife, Angela, own Office Evolution, a flexible office space provider in Flowood.

Davis Pace

Davis Pace serves as President and CEO of Mississippi Enterprise for Technology (MSET). Prior to joining MSET in 2021, he spent nearly a decade in Washington, D.C., on and off Capitol Hill, with a focus on technology, space, and cybersecurity issues.

Dr. Nashlie Sephus

Dr. Nashlie Sephus
Amazon AI & Founder The Bean Path

Dr. Sephus received her PhD from the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2014. Her core research areas were digital signal processing (mainly music, speech, and image signals), machine learning, and computer engineering/science. She recently joined the Amazon AI team focusing on “fairness in AI” and is based in Atlanta.

Anne Turner
Founding Shareholder, Anne Turner, PC

Anne Turner is the founding shareholder of Anne Turner, PC, in Madison, Mississippi and the founder of Lexcela, a legal accelerator for startups ( Anne has been practicing law for over twenty-five years, and her practice primarily consists of advising early stage startup companies, as well as other transactional work in the geophysical and energy sectors.

J. F. Gauthier

J.F. Gauthier

Founder & CEO
Startup Genome

Luncheon Keynote

J.F. Gauthier is a Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur and the Founder & CEO of Startup Genome. He is the world’s leading voice in innovation ecosystem development, having advised more than 100 governments and private-public partnerships across 35 countries.

Gautier has founded five businesses and led others across two continents and three sectors (Tech, Life Sciences and Cleantech), achieving two exits and one at scale-up stage. He is also an active angel investor who previously worked in corporate innovation, advising IBM, Cisco, Agilent/HP, Johnson & Johnson, and Abbott for the firm of Kim Clark (former dean of Harvard Business School) alongside Clayton Christensen and other thought leaders.

Gauthier has an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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


$85 full conference

  • Wednesday 7:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • Breakfast
  • Tech Sessions
  • Innovation Alley
  • Luncheon



Join us in the Pre-Function Space all morning Wednesday, November 10th, for quality time with vendors offering innovative services and/or support for entrepreneurs in Mississippi.

our sponsors

Presenting Sponsor

Featured Sponsor

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