Nashlie Sephus’s latest venture isn’t just a moonshot. It’s a homecoming. Her goal: Create a tech hub out of 12 abandoned acres of vacant lots and derelict buildings in the heart of downtown Jackson, Mississippi.
The 35-year-old has spent the past four years splitting her time between Jackson, her hometown, and Atlanta, where she works as an applied science manager for Amazon’s artificial intelligence initiative. Amazon had acquired Partpic, the visual recognition technology startup where she was chief technology officer, in 2016 for an undisclosed sum. In 2018, she founded the Bean Path, an incubator and technology consulting nonprofit in Jackson that she says has helped more than 400 local businesses and individuals with their tech needs.