"Mississippi is becoming recognized for groundbreaking work in the Blue Economy, renewable energy and biotechnology. Companies in these areas will find our state offers the competitive advantages needed to excel in today’s dynamic economy."
With its streamlined regulatory environment, and a robust, integrated research and development ecosystem that includes four major public research universities, military laboratories, and private sector firms, Mississippi has hung up the welcome sign for business. The state’s technology sectors focus on the development and commercialization of emerging technology-intensive projects, and dedicated workforce development programs aggressively support these initiatives.
A 2021 Tax Foundation study calculated the total effective state and local tax rate for eight types of business facilities and found that the tax rate on new businesses in Mississippi would be lower than in Florida and Texas for all eight business types.
CoBuilders, Mississippi’s first statewide accelerator and pitch competition, kicked off in March 2022. The Women and Minority Entrepreneur Development Program focuses on supporting companies led by women and minority founders, which is particularly relevant here as Mississippi has one of the highest minority populations in the U.S. Jackson State University opened its Women’s Business Center in February 2022.
Over the last two decades, Innovate Mississippi has connected more than 1,500 startups to over $181 million in seed and venture capital. Launched in August 2021, the South Mississippi Angel Fund gathered investors to create a $1 million fund for early-stage companies in South Mississippi.
The ACCELERATE Conference on Technology Innovation is an annual gathering for stakeholders in the Mississippi ecosystem. REDe Entrepreneurship Summit is an annual event designed to inspire students to become entrepreneurs. The MSU Startup Summit is one of the Southeast’s top student startup competitions.
Ecosystem by the Numbers
Advanced Manufacturing & Robotics
Reasons to Move Your Startup to Mississippi
Access to International Markets
Mississippi’s transport network includes 20 highways; 76 airports, including two international airports; dozens of rail systems serving 2,500 miles of track; and 15 ports along Mississippi’s three navigable waterways. The Mississippi River borders the state to the west, the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway borders it to the east, and the Gulf of Mexico forms its southern border. Mississippi boasts two deep-water ports along the Gulf of Mexico, allowing companies convenient access to international markets.
Mississippi offers Rural Business Development Grants of up to $100,000 to help emerging businesses in rural communities start up or expand. The complementary Rural Community Development Initiative facilitates housing and community and economic development projects. The Advantage Jobs Program provides cash rebates to encourage businesses creating high-quality jobs to set up or expand in Mississippi. Those new jobs must meet or exceed the average annual wage of the state or the county in which the company is located.
Selected Startup Organizations
Startup Genome Members
Mississippi Development Authority
Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) is Mississippi’s premier economic and community development agency. Companies of every size — from homegrown Mississippi startups to international corporations — depend on MDA’s team of employees for business development assistance, support with business incentives, and access to talent from workforce training programs, colleges, and universities.
Are you interested in diving deeper into this ecosystem? Drop us a message. Our Ambassadors and Partners can plug you in.