Kids Code Mississippi participated in the TECHJXN, the nation’s first combined summit and hackathon devoted to the issues of innovation and economic inclusion. The day-and-a-half-long event featured the largest youth computer hackathon ever to take place in Mississippi and a lineup of local and nationally recognized speakers addressing innovation and the opportunity to develop an inclusive “innovation ecosystem” in Mississippi’s capital city.
Summit speakers included Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, Mayor Tony Yarber, Dr. John Calhoun (CEO/Co-Founder, Integrated Management Services), Estella Pyfrom (CNN Hero, CEO Estella’s Brilliant Bus), Lee Fisher (President/CEO of CEOs for Cities), Johnathan Holifield (ScaleUp Partners), Ken Coleman (Special Adviser, Andreessen Horowitz) and Cedric Brown (Kapor Center for Social Impact).
Eighty students participated in the hackathon, including 20 middle school and high school students from Jackson and 60 students traveling on a “Digital Freedom Ride” to Jackson aboard Estella’s Brilliant Bus with stops in Florida, Georgia and Alabama. Representatives of Delta State University’s Delta Music Institute will be offering tours of their mobile music lab in front of the convention center immediately following the summit.
Other sponsors and team members included: Alignment Jackson, The Center for Education Innovation; City of Jackson; Innovate Mississippi; Jackson Public Schools; Jackson State University; Kids Code Mississippi; the Law Firm of David Pharr; Lemont Scott Group; Midtown Partners, Inc.; Maris, West & Baker Advertising; the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, and the United Way of the Capital Area.