United States


Mississippi Development Authority

Mississippi is well-known for our work with companies in the advanced manufacturing, agriculture and automotive sectors, but we have so much more to offer, especially in emerging technologies. Some of the areas we are focusing on include marine technology, renewable energy, information operations and biotechnology. These types of companies are especially important to Mississippi and would benefit greatly from locating here.

Laura Hipp
Interim Executive Director at Mississippi Development Authority
Top 20 Global Ecosystem: Startup Experience


Unlike other areas with over-crowded markets, the state of Mississippi offers businesses the freedom to build something new andi has an abundance of resources for businesses to start and scale. With eight public universities and 15 community colleges bridging the gap with the local business community, Mississippi businesses have fresh access to innovative talent and opportunities to commercialize cutting-edge research and development. A dynamic startup ecosystem is beginning to take root in Mississippi, thanks to the state’s world-class universities, diverse talent, low cost of living and the energies of a handful of boosters. The recently launched Gulf Blue initiative brings together research scientists, federal agencies, industry partners and entrepreneurs to establish Mississippi as a global leader in blue technology, with an accelerator and 24-hour connected space to help new startups and innovators. Another forward-thinking initiative is that of startup veteran and Jackson native Dr. Nashlie Sephus, who is transforming 12 abandoned acres in her hometown into a new $25 million tech hub. These projects join a growing number of startup support programs that are changing the face of innovation and entrepreneurism in Mississippi. Mississippi’s four renowned research universities, University of Mississippi, Mississippi State University, University of Southern Mississippi and Jackson State University partner with MDA developing a targeted innovation-driven economic development strategy that further leverages Mississippi’s research expertise in sub-sectors including, Advanced Materials, Autonomy, Agriculture, Data Science, Sensors, Diagnostics, and Biomedical/healthcare while perfecting emerging technologies and preparing the next generation of talented workers to take on the jobs of the future. The diversity of the partnerships and programs centered around startups and innovation in Mississippi are bringing great change to the world - one brilliant idea at a time.

Ecosystem by the numbers

$11.4 m
$548 m
$50 m
$13.68 bn
$350 k
$480 k
$2 m
$3 m
$78.5 k
$44 k

Sub-sector Strengths

Life Sciences

The Mississippi Healthcare Innovation Conference is a collection of renowned innovators, educators and investors leading the future of healthcare in the U.S. Mississippi also is home to EnRICH, a “pre-accelerator” program for healthcare innovators at the state’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The Healthcare Industry Zone Act provides tax exemptions to eligible healthcare companies that locate in Mississippi Healthcare Zones. Currently, three Industry-leading, Fortune 100 healthcare companies and numerous Fortune 500 healthcare companies have operations in the state.

Advanced Manufacturing & Robotics

Mississippi’s four research universities offer undergraduate degrees in 16 different engineering fields. The University of Mississippi’s Center for Manufacturing Excellence partners with industry to produce skilled workers, like electronics engineering technician roles. The state’s pro-business environment includes tax credits for eligible manufacturers, energy costs below the national average, low cost of doing business and sales tax exemptions on energy used in manufacturing. Local and Industry-leading shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls produces 70 percent of the U.S. Navy’s fleet of warships.

Reasons to move your startup to Mississippi

Highly Trained Workforce

In 2016, the Mississippi Works Training Fund allocated $50 million over 10 years to enhance training opportunities at the state’s 15 community colleges, which customize training programs to meet companies’ needs. The state’s four major public research universities offer world-class programs in biotech, aerospace, polymer science, and advanced manufacturing, and have a strong reputation for partnering with industry. The University of Mississippi Medical Center and School of Pharmacy also located in the state. Companies eligible for the state’s Jobs Tax Credit may opt to monetize it to use for job training. Mississippi puts significant emphasis on digital education through MS Coding Academies.

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