United States

Mississippi

MEMBERS:
Mississippi Development Authority

"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."

Laura Hipp
Deputy Director, Mississippi Development Authority
Top 15 North American Ecosystem in Affordable Talent

Highlights

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

TOTAL EARLY STAGE FUNDING
(2019H2-2021)
$90 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$687 m
ECOSYSTEM VALUE
(2019H2-2021)
$30 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$28.6 bn
MEDIAN SEED ROUND (2019H2-2021)
$10 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$671 k
MEDIAN SERIES A ROUND (2019H2-2021)
N/A
GLOBAL AVG.
$4.7 m
SOFT. ENGINEER SALARY (2021)
$71 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$46 k
80 m
GLOBAL AVG.
11.3 bn
5
GLOBAL AVG.
101
Amount ($)
Count (#)

Exits

(2017-2021)
EARLY-STAGE FUNDING GROWTH TIER (2018/19 VS. 2020/21)
5
Calculated on a scale of
1 (lowest) to 10 (highest)
TOTAL VC FUNDING (2017-2021)
$3.3 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$4.5 bn
TIME TO EXIT (2017-2021)
12.8 years
GLOBAL AVG.
9.4 years

Sub-Sector Strengths

Life Sciences

Mississippi is an established base for Life Sciences thanks to its strong healthcare workforce, two medical schools, five four-year institutions with nursing schools, and many training programs. Pioneering research conducted in the state has led to innovations in fields from organ transplants to nanotechnology. Spectra Laboratories, a subsidiary of Fresenius Medical Care North America, has started work on a state-of-the-art laboratory in Southaven. Jackson-based Biopharmaceutical company Nitrase Therapeutics raised a $7 million Series A in November 2021.

Advanced Manufacturing & Robotics

Mississippi is a dynamic Advanced Manufacturing hub. The sub-sector employs some 140,000 people in the state. Milwaukee Tool is investing $60 million in advanced technology and manufacturing equipment to expand its facilities in Mississippi and open a new one in Grenada by the end of 2022. The company also opened a $7 million facility in Clinton in 2021. Together, these investments will create 1,200 new jobs in the state.

Blue Economy

The State of Mississippi has invested in its coast-wide maritime infrastructure that positions Mississippi as a global leader in advancing technology in six Blue Economy innovation clusters. The Gulf Blue initiative (GBI), led by The University of Southern Mississippi, brings together research scientists, federal agencies, industry partners, and entrepreneurs to further develop the region into a global leader in marine technology. The Gulf Blue Navigator, which is part of the GBI, is a six-month accelerator program that provides developmental assistance to late-stage Blue Economy technology-based startups, and market access to the Gulf of Mexico region, proximity to federal agencies, technical facilities, and expertise.

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.

Business-Friendly Environment

Mississippi’s four major public research universities offer undergraduate degrees in 16 engineering fields. They also partner with industry to train highly skilled electronics engineering technicians. Manufacturers operating in Mississippi for at least two years may be eligible for investment tax credits. Mississippi also boasts energy costs around 20% below the national average and exempts energy used in manufacturing from sales tax. Mississippi is home to the largest transformer manufacturer in the U.S. and Huntington Ingalls, which manufactures 70% of the Navy’s warships.

State Support

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

“Startup Genome is honored to work with the Mississippi Development Authority to support the growth of their startup ecosystem. Mississippi's tight-knit entrepreneurial innovation community is the result of industry, university, capital and tech talent working together to to produce thriving businesses and more jobs for the state."
JF Gauthier, Founder & CEO of Startup Genome

Startup Genome
Partners

Innovate MS
Jackson State University (HBCU)
Mississippi State University
University of Mississippi
University of Southern Mississippi

Get connected

Are you interested in diving deeper into this ecosystem? Drop us a message. Our Ambassadors and Partners can plug you in.