Accelerate 2023 Schedule

Start Here. Build Here. Grow Here.

Wednesday November 8
Location: Mississippi Museum of Art

Attendees can valet park at the Westin for Pitch Day Activities and we will have volunteers on hand to walk people over to the museum.

1:00pm - 5:00pm • CoBuilders Pitch Day (Mississippi Museum of Art)

Join us for a showcase of Mississippi startup companies from the CoBuilders in a special "Pitch Day" presentation at the Mississippi Museum of Art in downtown Jackson.

Companies are selected and supported by Regional Partners as listed below

1:00pm • Kickoff

1:05pm - Road Rescuers

Dequarius Dunson
Dequarius Dunson

Founder: Dequarius Dunson
Location: Flowood, MS
CoBuilders Supporting Partner: The Beanpath/Jackson State University

Headquartered in Flowood, Mississippi, Road Rescuers functions as an on-demand marketplace catering to roadside and automotive assistance. By leveraging advanced app and web-based technology, the platform seamlessly links distressed motorists with nearby service providers, delivering a comprehensive end-to-end solution for diverse roadside and automotive support needs. This customer-focused approach centers on significantly reducing wait times and ensuring a streamlined, positive experience for motorists.

1:23pm - Narratrip

Lamar Gordon, Stan Flint, Derek Norsworthy and George Cumbest

Founders: Lamar Gordon, Stan Flint, Derek Norsworthy and George Cumbest
Location: Lucedale, MS
CoBuilders Supporting Partner: Oxford-Lafayette County EDF/University of Mississippi

Journez is a culturally directed, voice-guided travel application designed to unite customers with the best-kept secrets in music, art, culture, and food in communities across the world. Using multilingual voice technology, Journez delivers a culturally curated, 5-star virtual tour guide to the hands of travelers, to live like a local, anywhere in the world. In addition, Journez serves as a revolutionary cultural economic development tool, providing an advertising voice for culturally based businesses, connecting customers to culture to ignite the future of hospitality tourism.

1:41pm - GI Jean

Caitlyne Shirley, Angie Yonce, and Monica Tisack

Founders: Angie Yonce, Monica Tisack, Caitlyne Shirley
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
CoBuilders Supporting Partner: The Meeting Place

G.I. Jean is a research, development, and manufacturing company of medicinal and botanical products focused on women’s health with a future product line that can treat women and men alike. The company was formed on 09/11/2019 after Angie Yonce (founder) discovered an inexpensive and noninvasive way to remove “disease producing pathogens” from the body without the use of antibiotics, lasers, or surgeries. After bringing onboard cofounders Caitlyne Shirley and Monica Tisack, laboratory tests conducted by the Mississippi Polymer Institute in collaboration with Professor Heather Broadhead have demonstrated effectiveness in rendering key bacteria, viruses, fungi (yeast), and parasites inactive. The holistic product line can be used for vaginal, oral, ophthalmic, and topical applications. We are looking to move our vaginal product into the manufacturing phase. Currently we are developing our “Quality Management System” to ensure conformity with standards and compliance to meet regulatory requirements.

1:59pm • Networking Break

2:20pm - SellVNTG

David Markham, Owen Ridgeway and Preston Rollins
David Markham, Owen Ridgeway and Preston Rollins

Founders: Owen Ridgeway, David Markham, Preston Rollins
Location: Oxford, MS
CoBuilders Supporting Partner:Oxford-Lafayette County EDF/University of Mississippi

SellVNTG is a digital vintage marketplace. Our goal is to give a personal feel to shopping vintage clothing online while empowering sellers and buyers of vintage clothing in both discovery and ease of use. Vintage clothing is any clothing from a previous era. The SellVNTG platform will help connect people of all generations together, under the pursuit of great vintage clothing in the most simple and effective way possible.

2:38pm - ppx-TEC

Debra Griffin
Debra Griffin
Dean Harrison
Dean Harrison

Founders: Debra Griffin, Dean Harrison, Calvin Johnson
Location: Jackson, MS
CoBuilders Supporting Partner: Mississippi State E-Center, Vicksburg

ppxTec solves the problem of health histories siloed in separate and unconnected systems, by creating a central location for the storage of vital information, making healthcare decision-making more efficient and effective. ppxTec systems also enable improved remote patient monitoring and device connectivity by bridging data systems that otherwise don’t talk to each other. Through improved connectivity, data sets can also be created for artificial intelligence and data analysis.

2:56pm - MAPP

Justin O'Keefe
Justin O'Keefe

Founder: Justin O’Keefe
Location: Biloxi, MS
CoBuilders Supporting Partner: The Meeting Place

MAPP is a tech platform to respond to families during funeral planning with financial, legal, and additional professional services.

3:14pm • Networking Break

3:35pm - RebornC

Mark Robertson
Mark Robertson
Zhe Qiang
Zhe Qiang

Founders: Zhe Qiang, Mark Robertson
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
CoBuilders Supporting Partner:Mississippi Polymer Institute at the University of Southern Mississippi

RebornC aims to address climate challenges by reimaging what is possible with plastic wastes. Specifically, our cost-effective and energy-efficient technology unlocks the power of plastic wastes, enabling their use for decarbonization and micropollutant removals. Through our proprietary upcycling method, plastic waste-derived carbons can be manufactured with controlled structures and functionalities, including unparalleled electrical heating performance which provides a foundational solution for facilitating the transition to a carbon-neutral society. Our company is positioned to be a leader in the climate change business, providing solutions for plastic waste remediation and industrial decarbonization.

3:53pm - Total Body Submersion

Kiana Moore
Kiana Moore

Founder: Kiana Moore
Location: Pearl, MS
CoBuilders Supporting Partner: Higher Purpose Co

As someone who nearly drowned twice, Kiana intimately understands the fear and vulnerability that can come with water. This inspired her to establish Total Body Submersion, and her mission is clear: through the upcoming launching of her app, she is looking to provide individuals from underserved communities with the opportunity to not only learn to swim but to find empowerment, safety, and joy in the water.

4:11pm - Tempo

Anirudh Aditya
Anirudh Aditya
Ryan Hopson
Ryan Hopson
Rajat Dabral
Rajat Dabral

Founders: Anirudh Aditya, Ryan Hopson and Rajat Dabral
Location: Starkville, MS
CoBuilders Supporting Partner:Mississippi State E-Center, Starkville

Tempo is a short-form learning management system where we take the efficiency of short-form videos along with the structure of course-builders to create a completely new social experience. We are dubbing this “social discovery” where users will be able to use the connectivity of social media on their journey of self-discovery. This will be facilitated by Tempo’s content curators who take their videos, turn them into guides, and upload them for all to learn.

Tempo was founded in Starkville, MS by CEO Anirudh Aditya, COO Ryan Hopson, and CTO Rajat Dabral in 2021. We’ve grown to over 1,500 users and have signed on 10 creators to begin generating content. We’re looking to scale rapidly over the next year, so if you’re a passionate creator with informative content to share, join us now and help people live life at their own Tempo!

4:30pm • Awards and Wrap-up

5:00pm - 6:30pm • Speaker & Sponsor Reception

Location: The Westin Jackson

Thursday November 9
Location: The Westin Jackson

7:30am • Registration Opens

8:00am - 9:15am • Breakfast General Session (Jackson Ballroom)

Presented by: 
Joe Donovan, Director of The Office of Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship 
Mississippi Development Authority 
Dr. Richard Summers, University of Mississippi Medical Center
Join us for an insightful discussion around the State Small Business Credit Initiative and dissect its potential to revolutionize Mississippi’s economic landscape; and how the program aims to bolster local entrepreneurship, create jobs, and foster economic resilience within the state.
Presented by: 
Tony Jeff, President & CEO, Innovate Mississippi
Dan Schmisseur, Venture Capital Consultant for SSBCI to the U.S. Department of Treasury
Lindsey Benefield, Investment Director, Innovate Mississippi

8:30am • Morning Keynote Session

> 8:30am: Welcome Remarks, Tony Jeff, President & CEO of Innovate Mississippi
> 8:35am: Message from Governor Tate Reeves
> 8:38am - Introduction of Breakfast Keynote Speakers
Dr. William Rayburn, co-founder and CEO of mTrade
> 8:40am: Fireside Chat: "Building Thriving Clusters and Ecosystems for Young, Entrepreneurial High-Growth Firms"
Ross DeVol, president and CEO of Heartland forward and Jon Maynard, president and CEO of Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation

9:15am - 9:30am • Coffee and Contacts Break

All Day • Café Connect

A Place to Tuck Away for Private Meetings. No appointment needed.

9:30am - 11:45am • Breakout Sessions

2-Concurrent Tracks (Big Ideas & Block & Tackle)


The Big Ideas track explores Mississippi's entrepreneurial changes and trends, including AI's impact on industries and local companies' growth strategies.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is reshaping the business landscape across diverse industries. This panel discussion will delve into the pivotal role of AI in driving innovation, enhancing efficiency, and fostering growth across sectors. Experts will explore real-world applications, challenges, and future trends, shedding light on how businesses can harness the power of AI to gain a competitive edge, optimize operations, and deliver unparalleled value to customers.

Moderator: Gerad Hardy Leadership Consultant and Faculty, Else School of Management, Millsaps College

J.J. Townsend, Microsoft
Dr. Craig Orgeron, Information Technology Expert, Millsaps College
Dr. Nashlie Sephus, Amazon
Greg Hall, UMMC Telehealth

10:30 am - 10:45 am • Coffee and Contacts Break

Join us for an enlightening panel discussion featuring trailblazing companies that have not only thrived but also significantly contributed to Mississippi’s vibrant entrepreneurial landscape. These visionary entrepreneurs will share their inspiring journeys of starting, growing, and scaling their business within the heart of Mississippi and harnessed the abundant resources that Mississippi offers to support startups.

Moderator: Rina Thomas White, Twain Capital
Gary Watts
, Fuse.Cloud
Michael Grasso
, Anduril Industries
Joe Stradinger
, Edgetheory


Practical Tips to Help Entrepreneurs Navigate Their Business
The Block and Tackle track covers those moments when the rubber meets the road for entrepreneurs in the Mississippi entrepreneurial ecosystem. Hear from professional marketers, sales professionals, tacticians, mentors and investors on the next steps your startup should take toward success and growth.

The 2023 Investor panel discussion will feature regional seed fund, early-stage, and angel fund investors. The panel will focus on preparing for investment rounds. Panelists will share their regional experiences and expertise and will discuss preparing for and going through due diligence and investor expectations. 

Moderator: Hal Callais, Callais Capital
Chris Haley
, Nashville’s FINTOP Capital
Anna deTiege Harris
, New Orleans Startup Fund
Jeremy Turner
, Appalachian Investors Alliance

10:30 am - 10:45 am • Coffee and Contacts Break

Join industry experts as they unravel the complexities of aligning your groundbreaking ideas with market demands, ensuring your product not only fits seamlessly but also attracts and retains customers, ultimately guiding you from the initial concept to sustainable profitability. Gain valuable insights, actionable strategies, and real-world examples that will empower you to transform your vision into a thriving, revenue-generating venture.

Moderator: Maranda Joiner, Succeed and Elevate
Bryan Carter
, CEO, Think Webstore
Tim Mask
, President MWB
Darryl Pieroni
, Keller Williams Realty

VIP Investor Lounge, by appointment only

Mentor Lounge, by appointment only

12:00pm • Luncheon General Session (Jackson Ballroom)

In her engaging keynote presentation, “Driving Entrepreneurial Growth through an Ecosystem Strategy”, Wendy Lea, the accomplished CEO of Energize Colorado, will share proven strategies and real-world examples to empower Mississippi stakeholders with actionable methods to create thriving innovation ecosystems within the state. Her talk will serve as a transformative guide to provide knowledge and tools necessary to bolster local economies, nurture startups, and drive sustainable entrepreneurial growth, ensuring a brighter and more innovative future for the state.

1:30pm • Conference Concludes