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  • Writer's pictureShameka Reed

2018 Innovator of the Year

Dr. Nashlie Sephus, an expert in image and speech recognition, was introduced to computer engineering through STEM summer camps at Jackson State and Mississippi State universities.

The Jackson, Mississippi, native went on to help launch and serve as chief technology officer of Partpic. The startup’s technology allows consumers to take a picture of a replacement part and upload it to a website that recognizes the part and displays a link for purchase. The company was recently acquired by Amazon, and Dr. Sephus now leads the Amazon/A9 visual search technical team.

Throughout her undergraduate and graduate years at MSU and Georgia Tech, Dr. Sephus was awarded enough scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships to ensure she graduated debt free. She gained work experience through cooperative education and internships at Miller Transporters, IBM, Delphi, University of California at Berkeley, GE Research Center, and GE Energy, and studied abroad in South Korea and France.

Wanting to give back to her home state, Dr. Sephus recently founded The Bean Path, a nonprofit that provides free technical expertise to entrepreneurs.

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