Each year, Innovate Mississippi and InnovateMEP Mississippi work with hundreds of companies – from developing comprehensive business plans to connecting startups with investment dollars to streamlining manufacturing practices – building a stronger, more economically viable Mississippi.
Innovate Mississippi has been a strong supporter of WiFi Sports Network. They have helped us in many areas – from the preparation of our business plan to the structural layout of our presentation to the Angel Network. Innovate Mississippi is a strong key for any new entrepreneur in the technology field today.” Charlie Helms, CEO of WiFi Sports Network Live
Innovate Mississippi is a major author in the development of a real creative and innovation culture in Mississippi. I couple point to numerous projects the organization undertakes – from Startup Weekends to management of the Mississippi Angel Network to many more. I believe Innovate Mississippi’s real value is in the services they provide to Mississippi’s entrepreneurs looking to bring their ideas to the world.” Tim Mask, vice president of brand planning and development of Maris, West & Baker Advertising
Winning first place at Startup Weekend Jackson lit a fire in my belly that this wasn’t just a good idea, that there was an actual chance of being a real business.” Craig Kinsley, cofounder and chief executive officer of StoryTour
Innovate Mississippi provides a showcase for innovation-based technology that Mississippians are known for. At Innovate Mississippi, you’ll find inventors and entrepreneurs who are leading a culture of innovation in Mississippi that makes our world better.” Glenn McCullough Jr., executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority, former member of the Innovate Mississippi Board of Directors
Seed loans from Innovate Mississippi allowed our company, Reactive Surfaces, to fund a critical step in getting federal approval of its novel antimicrobial coatings technology. Using these funds, the company was able to support research at the Mississippi Polymer Institute and at the University of Southern Mississippi that is rapidly leading to the world’s first non-toxic and highly efficacious peptide biocides for use in hospitals, clinics, medical equipment and medical devices.” Steve McDaniel, founder and chief innovation officer of Reactive Surfaces
Innovate Mississippi is a great resource for everyone looking to grow or start their own business.” Brad McMullan, founder of bfac.com and Texting Leader, member of the Innovate Mississippi Board of Directors
I started Celeris LLC, a physics-based engineering software company, in April 2011 with private investments from 24 Mississippi investors. I met with Tony Jeff and Clay Lewis early in 2013 to discuss how Innovate Mississippi might support getting Celeris to market. Tony and Clay were very helpful in connecting Celeris with an additional funding source (the Mississippi Seed Fund) and providing valuable, professional advice, especially in the areas of business plans and marketing. My partners and I are very pleased that Celeris is currently in technical and business discussions with a large software provider.”Dean Norman, Ph.D., managing partner of Celeris
It’s very good to see that Mississippi has an entity like Innovate Mississippi and a program like the Mississippi Seed Fund to assist growing businesses.”Ted Parsons, vice president and CMO of SkyFrequency (Fall 2012)
The Mississippi Department of Education has enjoyed a wonderful working relationship with Innovate Mississippi. The resources and expertise that Innovate Mississippi brings to the table have helped our office create better outcomes for our students in competitive events and in enhancing entrepreneurship skills. As we help train the next set of business and entrepreneurial students for today’s fast-paced global economy, Innovate Mississippi will be an integral part of planning and executing the best strategies to help move the state of Mississippi forward in these areas.” Mike Mulvihill of the Mississippi Department of Education
Innovate Mississippi assisted in securing the opportunity for U.S. Dinnerware of Port Gibson to secure an order for the production of more than 1 million “Perfect Bacon Bowls.” As a result, the order for the “Perfect Bacon Bowl” was the largest single order in the company’s history. This order resulted in over 100 Claiborne County citizens becoming employed over the winter months, when the U.S. Dinnerware plant’s production staffing went from 14 employees operating on one shift for four days per week to 80 employees operating three shifts per day for seven days per week.
Innovate Mississippi also provided significant technical assistance through its partnership with Mississippi State University’s CAVS Engineering Research Center. The manufacturing innovations that were developed with this assistance enabled U.S. Dinnerware to increase plant operating efficiency through the development of new specialized manufacturing equipment, product molding innovations and improvements in production line management.
This project never would have happened without the assistance of Innovate Mississippi, and we certainly appreciate the assistance that has benefited Claiborne and surrounding counties so much.” Milton J. Chambliss, CEcD, executive director of the Claiborne County Economic Development District
Innovate Mississippi is doing great work and having an impact all across the state. I have engaged with them as a competitor in their annual New Venture Challenge business plan competition, I have taken their two-day Venture Coaching Academy to learn how to support student entrepreneurs, I have helped out by coaching at their Startup Weekends and they continue to support the Oxford Entrepreneurial Alliance events as a partner. Their programs are top-notch, providing incredibly valuable resources to Mississippians. Additionally, they have been a huge catalyst in creating energy around the importance of innovation to the state of Mississippi. I hope they continue their great working supporting and inspiring innovation in Mississippi for years to come!”Bethany L. Cooper, corporate recruitment and talent management coordinator of FNC Inc.
I had the pleasure of meeting Bubba Weir from Innovate Mississippi after the New Venture Challenge in 2013. From his support, I was able to get the attention of Edison Nation product recruiters. Now my product is one of few inventions that is in EN 6th and final stage of evaluation of recommended inventions.” Justin Clark, CEO of Golden Source Inventors
Innovate Mississippi had been a valued resource to Hybrid Plastics since our relocation to Mississippi from California. They have provided critical information and advice at times of need, have been instrumental in establishing meaningful contacts throughout the state, and have demonstrated themselves to be a valuable resource not only to the us but to the state as well.”Carl Hagstrom, former chief operating officer and current consultant of Hybrid Plastics Inc.
Innovate Mississippi has been an invaluable asset to the growth and expansion of The Donor Tree. From the very beginning, Innovate Mississippi has supported The Donor Tree on everything from guidance on a successful business model to making valuable connections with investors and service providers.”Ginger Whitwell, president of The Donor Tree
Innovate Mississippi has been, and continues to be, an important partner of the 25x’25 National Alliance. The staff and advisors at Innovate Mississippi support and guide local leaders, economic development partners and clean energy entrepreneurs in a new direction for Mississippi’s energy future. Their work at the state and regional level to bring together innovation thought-leaders to evaluate some of the latest achievements in development, demonstration and deployment of renewable energy technologies and applications will help our nation achieve the goal of consuming 25 percent of our energy needs from renewable resources by 2025.”Brent Bailey, state activities coordinator of the 25x’25 Alliance
Sumesh Arora and everyone at Innovate Mississippi have been instrumental in helping me understand biofuels technologies and markets. It has been my very great pleasure to work with them.”Charlotte Batson, owner and principal of Batson & Company
As the founder of the Southern Entrepreneurship Program in Mississippi, Innovate Mississippi was a critical partner in driving the growth of entrepreneurial activities in Mississippi. Additionally, Innovate Mississippi and the University of Southern Mississippi created the Innovation-Led Economic Development Course and in so doing, promoted viable innovation-based economic development. Innovate Mississippi has been a vital partner of mine since 2000 and continues to drive the movement to push Mississippi to adopt a viable innovation-led entrepreneurial and economic development based strategy.”Dr. Brent Hales, founder of the Mississippi Southern Entrepreneurship Program
Our firm has found Innovate Mississippi to be terrific resources for several of our New Markets Tax Credit investments, including a torrefied wood pellet facility in Quitman and a silicon metal plant in Burnsville. These are both technology-driven advanced manufacturing facilities that sell their products worldwide and offer outstanding wages and benefits, which will impact Mississippi families for years to come. Innovate Mississippi is regularly involved with innovative projects that our company wants to source and target for investment.”Mark J. McCreery, member-manager/CFO of MuniStrategies, LLC
As a comprehensive Carnegie research university, Southern Miss works closely with Innovate Mississippi to promote technology innovation in the state. We conduct joint research, collaborate on outreach and educate students on technology development. Innovate Mississippi even provides adjunct faculty, Dr. Sumesh Arora, to teach ED725 Technology Based Entrepreneurship in Economic Development in our nationally known Masters of Science in Economic Development Program.”Chad R. Miller, Ph.D., associate professor and graduate coordinator of the masters of science in economic development program and assistant director of the Center for Logistics, Trade and Transportation of the University of Southern Mississippi
Innovate Mississippi has helped me grow my business through new opportunities and relationships with potential partners and clients. This has helped my company increase its presence across the energy industry in Mississippi and has the potential to increase our presence worldwide.”Rob Shepard, P.E., president of The Energy Group
Innovate Mississippi has worked with our team at the University of Louisiana to forge strong partnerships between our two states thus allowing for economic development to occur within the region. It is rare that one entity can be so impactful across state lines, but Innovate Mississippi does get it done!”Mark E. Zappi, Ph.D., P.E., dean of engineering and director at the UL Energy Institute of the University of Louisiana
Working with Innovate Mississippi, when I was at Mississippi State University, we were able to better utilize our skills to assist Mississippi companies by being able to connect with Innovate Mississippi’s client pool. This ended up being a huge win for all parties. Hence, Mississippi’s economy grew along with its reputation for being a place where innovation happens.”Dr. Mark E. Zappi, former director of the Mississippi University Research Consortium for the Utilization of Biomass at Mississippi State University
InnovateMEP Mississippi Testimonials
The Simulation Modeling software easily handled our complexities and variations. Simulation allowed us to quickly optimize labor utilization and clearly define our path of implementation. The expense of trial-and-error was avoided, since all trials took place using simulation. Thanks to our friends at InnovateMEP Mississippi for their support, guidance and training!”Wyatt Koerner, senior manufacturing engineer of the Kuhlman Electric Corporation
We could not be more pleased with the results and the partnership we have with InnovateMEP Mississippi Center. We often struggle as companies as to how to best channel our ideas and efforts toward product and customer satisfaction. The InnovateMEP Mississippi Center at Mississippi State University CAVS-E and John have helped us establish “true north” in this endeavor. We have a better grasp of the tools to use to make improvements each year. We are truly in a race without a finish line, but through partnerships like this, we will be able to run well.” Kevin Faulkner, manager of coprorate engineering and quality at the Franklin Corporation
Excel has worked with the InnovateMEP Mississippi Center at the Mississippi Polymer Institute on programs covering nearly every facet of injection molding – always with outstanding results. I have recommended them to other manufacturers within the state of Mississippi and will continue to do so in the future.” Kenneth Fair, director of engineering at Excel Injection Molding Inc.
The new bumper design and testing has helped us continue to be an innovation leader with quality products for our industry. We value the InnovateMEP Mississippi Center and their resources and consider them a partner in our success.”Charles Holder, founder and CEO of the Hol-Mac Corporation
We value the InnovateMEP Mississippi Center and their resources and consider them a key partner in the continued success of our company and the community.” Mike Leleux, training director at VT Halter Marine
The Franklin Furniture Institute at Mississippi State University has had the pleasure to work with InnovateMEP Mississippi and several of its MEP partners on numerous occasions. The exceptional portfolio of services, a professional staff and the in-depth approach to problem-solving are resources that are very important to Mississippi’s manufacturing sector. InnovateMEP Mississippi is defiantly an asset to our state.” Bill Martin, director of the Franklin Furniture Institute at Mississippi State University
Oxford, Mississippi, is working to grow its entrepreneurial ecosystem so that we can develop our local economy without changing the charm and beauty that makes us Oxford. We would not be successful without Innovate Mississippi as a close partner in this growth. Through their guidance and assistance, we have grown numerous tech companies like FNC and Next Gear Solutions. We have worked well with the team at Innovate Mississippi and are seeing our efforts pay off in economic strength.” Jon C. Maynard, president and CEO of the Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Foundation
Our company was the beneficiary of an E3 assessment. It provided us access to industry experts in key areas of our business that are critical to success. InnovateMEP Mississippi’s insights and recommendations made an immediate impact on our effectiveness as an organization as well as our performance. We benefited greatly from the process.” Greg McNeely, president of McNeely Plastics
FMC Technologies and the InnovateMEP Mississippi Center at Itawamba Community College’s Workforce Development and Training have partnered for over 10 years to provide the company a broad range of workforce development and continuous improvement needs. From funding assistance for training on an organizational software conversion to the development and implementation of a customized Welder’s Basic Skills Certification course, the partnership has realized mutually beneficial returns.” Lee Oswalt, workforce development specialist at Itawamba Community College
The partnership between the InnovateMEP Mississippi Center at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and PFG really helped us to put together a curriculum that was beneficial in that it provided an exceptional foundation as well as practical situational skills. Our training is more consistent, more effective and has allowed us to more quickly train employees. We have statistics that show a significant reduction in employee turnover and a longer average tenure with the company. Maintaining a highly skilled workforce allows us to take on work that others cannot do.” Kelly Tillis, human resources associate of PFG Precision Optics Inc.
One of the many benefits we at Itawamba Community College recognize from being a part of InnovateMEP Mississippi is the networking it provides among its partners. By being able to capitalize on the expertise offered through Innovate Mississippi and its partners, we are better able to serve manufacturing companies in our district, while Innovate Mississippi helps market our services throughout the state to better serve the manufacturing needs of others.” James Williams, vice president of economic and community services of Itawamba Community College
Excel Injection Molding Inc. has participated in a number of programs with Innovate Mississippi, including a program to assist us in developing an ISO compliant Quality and Management System and obtaining ISO registration. Our experience with Innovate Mississippi has been that their programs have not only been instrumental in helping us achieve our goals and objectives, but have also been very cost effective. The programs that we implemented through Innovate Mississippi positioned our company to not just survive the recent Great Recession, but significantly grow our business during it. We are well positioned for future growth and will continue to realize positive economic benefits from the projects.” John Robinson, president of Excel Injection Molding
The willingness and ability of the InnovateMEP Mississippi Center to help us meet our demand for workers has been impressive. They are directly contributing to our ability to be successful in the rapid buildup of our workforce.”John Lotshaw, director of workforce education of Huntington Ingalls Incorporated
The incredible response times and quality models from the InnovateMEP Mississippi Center at the Mississippi Polymer Institute have allowed us to get our concepts in hand for design review, and more critically to share those designs with our customers. This kind of responsiveness has helped us build critical relationships with our customers.” Lawrence Walker, engineering manager of Zavation
The workforce training is an integral part of our everyday processes. We value both of these InnovateMEP Mississippi Centers and their resources and consider them a partner in our success.” Perry Walker, former human resources manager at Auto Parts Manufacturing Mississippi Inc.