Top 4 angel investors in Mississippi

Last updated: January 30, 2024

The startup ecosystem of Mississippi is growing and is attracting attention from investors as well as VC firms. The state is currently home to around 500 startups and also hosts many accelerator programs and different startup events each year.

Similarly, many entrepreneurs also want to give the much needed boost to their businesses but don’t have the capital to do so. That’s where the angels come in.

Even though Mississippi may not be a hotspot for angel investors or VC firms, the state still has some investors that can help entrepreneurs push their businesses into new directions, making huge profits.

Do you want to know these investors and secure funding for your startup?

Well, here is the list of the top 4 angel investors in Mississippi, along with some tips about how to pitch to them.

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    Top Angel Investors in Mississippi

    Following is the list of some of the top angel investors in Mississippi according to their startup funding and activity. 

    Jim Tenzillo

    LinkedIn: Jim Tenzillo | LinkedIn

    Investor Type: Individual Investor

    Investment Interests: Tech and Healthcare

    Investment Stage: Early

    Jim Tenzillo is an experienced angel investor who has been involved in finance, entrepreneurship, and early-stage investing for over 11 years. He serves as the Managing Director & Vice President at Invest Michigan and is the Executive Founding Partner of the Fund. He is also a co-founder of the VentureNext community, a group of 300+ venture capitalists.

    When funding startups, Tenzillo prefers to invest in early-stage high-tech businesses. He has been funding startups since 2016 when he joined Invest Michigan. Similarly, Tenzillo prefers funding startups that are at the early stage and have good chances of growth. He takes an interest in ventures that are led by experienced entrepreneurs and usually makes investments through investor meetings.

    The investment range of Jim Tenzillo ranges from $100,000 to $200,000. Some of his notable portfolio companies are:

    Genomenon: Genomenon is a genomic health IT company that keeps pace with the constant advancements made in genomics and connects that research to patient DNA to help diagnose and treat patients with rare genetic diseases and cancer.

    ONL Therapeutics: ONL Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapies for preserving sight in patients with retinal disease. They recently closed on the first tranche of a $15 million Series C Preferred Stock financing round.

    Bloomscape: Bloomscape is a direct-to-consumer plant brand that has redefined the garden center shopping experience by delivering healthy, ready-to-go plants to your door straight from their greenhouse.

    Turner Novak

    LinkedIn: Turner Novak | LinkedIn

    Investor Type: Individual Investor

    Investment Interests: E-Commerce and Consumer Products

    Investment Stage: Early

    Turner Novak is the founder of Banana Capital and launched it in 2021. Prior to that, he ran all venture capital investing at Gelt VC and invested in their second fund. Although Turner Novak is often known as a manager at VC firms, he also takes a deep interest in funding startups, especially when it comes to tech companies.

    Turner Novak is known for his active presence on Twitter, where he shares his insights on investing and the venture capital industry. He also writes about his investment strategies and shares deep dives on companies. When funding startups, Turner Novak always selects startups that have market hype and are getting attention due to their progress. He participates in fundraisers and sometimes also makes individual investments through investor meetings.

    Lolli: Lolli is a rewards application that allows users to earn bitcoin when shopping online. It has partnered with over 1,000 top brands to give people the ability to easily earn bitcoin rewards when they shop. 

    Arrive Recommerce: Arrive Recommerce is a technology company that powers circular commerce for the world’s most innovative brands, retailers, and operators. The company focuses on turning a cost center into a profit center by helping brands and retailers divert products.

    Candor: Candor is a company that helps people save money on their health insurance. The company was built by former tech employees who wanted to create simple, powerful wealth-building tools. Candor provides financial tools that serve the user with a fair fee structure and no kickbacks.



    Website: Accelerate Your Success | Techstars Global Startup Network

    Investor Type: Venture Capital Firm

    Investment Interests: Tech

    Investment Stage: Early and Seed

    Techstars was founded in 2006 by David Cohen, Brad Feld, David Brown, and Jared Polis. It is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado.

    As of January 2024, Techstars had accepted over 4,100 companies into its accelerator programs and has invested in more than 3,700 early-stage startups.

    Techstars is a leading pre-seed and early-stage venture capital firm. They invest up to $120,000 in each of their accelerator startups. They purchase the right to 6% of the company’s Fully Diluted Capital Stock at the Qualified Financing and provide $20,000 upfront.

    Similarly, the application and interview process at Techstars involves several steps. Startup companies can apply for Techstars’ program, and they are selected by the Managing Director of the program they applied to, as well as a screening committee. 

    Once the startups get selected, they aren't just provided with the required funding but also get access to some of the best mentors in the state. Even though Techstars wasn't much active in Mississippi, they have recently updated their funding polices and will fund startups in this state as well.

    The investment range of Techstars can range upto $100,000 to $1M, as they usually invest in early and seed-staged startups. Some of their recent portfolio companies are:

    Hiveclass: Hiveclass is a company that specializes in youth sports and wellness education. It develops a mobile platform that provides kids with access to original content of athlete-led training videos in a range of popular sports and fitness activities. 

    Laurels: Laurels Company (PVT) Ltd is a manufacturing company of cycling gear, boxing gear, martial arts, sports goods, fitness equipment, sports wear, and casual wear.

    Sofinnova Partners


    Website: Partners for — Sofinnova Partners

    Investor Type: Venture Capital Firm

    Investment Interests: Biopharma

    Investment Stage: Seed

    Sofinnova Partners was founded in 1972 by Jean Deleage. The firm is headquartered in Paris, France, with additional offices in the US, London, and Milan.

    Sofinnova Partners has made 310 investments and is active across the entire value chain of life sciences investments, from seed to later-stage, with a focus on healthcare and sustainability. Investors usually focus on startups that have strong ideas, low competition, and huge growth potential. 

    Even though they aren't headquartered in the US, they still provide funding to startups from many states, including Mississippi. The application process starts with the online application and then physical presentations. Entrepreneurs need to ensure they present the best online forms and are clear with their statements, as Sofinnova Partners doesn't conduct many pitching competitions throughout the year.

    Once a startup has been funded, it definitely gets access to a wide network of mentors. However, Sofinnova Partners are not actively conducting any mentorship programs or startup events in Mississippi, which may cause the startup leaders to discuss things online.

    The investment range of Sofinnova Partners can range upto $10M, as they make late-stage investments. Some companies from their portfolio are:

    Addex Therapeutics: Addex Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of an emerging class of novel, orally available, small-molecule drugs known as allosteric modulators for neurological disorders.

    DBV Technologies: DBV Technologies is a global clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to safely transforming the care of food-allergic patients through the development of Viaskin®, a proprietary technology platform.

    MedDay: MedDay is a biotechnology company that develops new drugs for nervous system disorders.

    How To Pitch To Angel Investors

    Even when it sounds hard, pitching to angel investors is an easy process as long as you understand some important tips.

    Understand Your Competitors

    You can never successfully pitch to angel investors as long as you don’t understand your competitors and outperform them. During a presentation, always talk about why you are a better option and present statistically how your startup has the potential to outperform many of your competitors.

    For fresh entrepreneurs attending their first investor meetings, it is recommended to read some pitch deck examples and prepare accordingly. 

    Be Realistic

    Never make promises you cannot fulfill. Entrepreneurs often get confused and overtalk about their startups, which can become a huge problem. 

    Similarly, try to be realistic and present real-time stats and achievements of your startup.

    Understand The Investors

    Before pitching, always spend extra time to understand the angel investors. Know their preferences and research their portfolio companies, and you will be able to predict what questions they may ask you.

    Moreover, you can also get to know the angel investors by attending different networking or startup events. Most investors deliver talks or attend workshops where it is easy to meet them and know what things they would love to see in a startup.


    Summing up, even when there aren’t a lot of VC firms or angel investors in Mississippi, it needs to be understood that the state is still in its growing stages. As an entrepreneur or a fresh business leader, you may not have tons of choices to select and pitch to, but it is always worth trying.

    Good Luck!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: What criteria do these angel investors consider when evaluating startups for investment?

    A: Angel investors consider several factors when evaluating startups, including the market size, unique value proposition, traction achieved, revenue potential, and alignment with the investor's investment thesis.

    Q: What are different startup stages?

    A: Different startup stages encompass crucial phases in a company's growth. The Seed stage marks the inception, where ideas are formed. Early Stage follows, emphasizing product development, testing, and initial market entry.

    The growth stage involves expanding the customer base and refining strategies. Late Stage signifies a more stable phase, with a proven product and significant market share.

    Q: How to make your startup investable?

    A: To make a startup investible, focus on a scalable business model, a strong team, a well-defined market opportunity, and evidence of market validation.

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