Innovate Mississippi is a non-profit organization helping to drive innovation and technology based economic development for the State of Mississippi. They do this by working directly with new startups helping them develop business strategies and finding funding by using their pool of investor resources.
Every year Innovate Mississippi publishes their Innovation Report. This publication showcases various startups and innovative business’ success stories from around the state. We are proud to be included.
“Kopis Mobile is a Flowood-based company that works to enhance the communications capabilities of military and law enforcement by finding ways to integrate last-generation equipment with modern smartphone and tablet technology.
Kopis Mobile started in 2012 while founders Henry Jones, Joe McDevitt, Josh Lunn, Andrew Putnam and Hugh Middleton were working for a defense contractor. They noticed a strange lack of smartphone tech in the contractor’s gear. The company opened for business in 2013. “A lot of military and law enforcement bodies spend a lot on equipment, but they don’t have the money for wholesale replacement. Younger people who come to these jobs expect modern technology,” Jones said. “Kopis takes old equipment and ties it in to modern devices.”
Kopis Mobile’s products can be used in chemical and radiation detection, radio communication, cameras, lighting, and more. The company is Jones’s fifth successful startup, so he knew the ropes in Kopis Mobile’s early stages and put together the company’s pitch book to present to investors. First, though, he touched base with a few mentors at Innovate Mississippi who helped him fine-tune the concept into something that would be attractive to investors.
“Innovate Mississippi’s Angel Investor Network was a big help,” Jones said. “It made the process much more efficient and allowed us to pitch to a lot of people at once. Even if you don’t get funding from an investor, they usually have questions for you that help refine your pitch and your business model.”
Innovate Mississippi’s $100,000 investment through its Mississippi Seed Fund helped spur additional investment. As a result, Kopis Mobile was able to fully repay the seed fund.
Jones credited his partners, especially mentors at the University of Southern Mississippi, for pushing Kopis Mobile forward. With their help, the company has seen consistent growth.
“We’re building a reputation as a company who listens, who works quickly and keeps things simple. We thought beforehand that those were things any company would do,” Jones said. “None of us like to see it, but the world is becoming a more dangerous place. We build tools that help those who protect us be more effective and be more protected themselves.”