Dr. Nashlie Sephus creating $25M tech hub in Mississippi
Amazon’s Tech Evangelist, Dr. Nashlie Sephus, has a new venture worth $25 million to bring a tech-hub to Jackson, Mississippi.
In September 2020, Sephus purchased twelve acres of land for a large tech project.
Today was the culmination of over 18 months, 12 acres, 7 buildings, 2 downtown districts, 3 unwilling to do a loan banks…
As the founder of The Bean Path in Jackson, she strives to give technical expertise to grow networks and communities.
The nonprofit organization provides “technical advice and guidance to individuals and small businesses in the community.”
The land, which sits near the campus of HBCU Jackson State University, will be used to turn the downtown district into a tech-hub in the region, according to Medium.
Although focused on tech, Sephus said it would maintain the culture of the city and feature co-working spaces for people in the community.
It will also include housing, residential lofts, restaurants and venue space residents can rent for events.
Combatting the digital divide, it will have a wifi hotspot area where children can access the internet.
The 35-year-old struggled to get financial backing for the project, with bank lenders questioning its purpose.
With help from law firm Butler Snow, who worked Pro bono on the project, Sephus’ dream for the community came to fruition.
“My goal is to also make the downtown area more walkable, with more green space. This will be a part of the move to target the younger demographic and mid-career professionals to live in or frequent downtown. We want to help close that gap for the younger generation that’s missing in the area”, she said.
With Black women making up only 11% of the computing and math workforce in 2019, she is breaking barriers by paving the way to create more diversity in the industry.
Sephus has a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering from Mississipi State University, a Master’s Degree and a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.