Both graduated from Murrah High School. From there, Sephus headed to Mississippi State University, where she received a bachelor's degree in computer engineering in 2007. Walker attended Jackson State University, where he got both bachelor's and master's degrees in computer engineering, in 2008 and 2010, respectively.
Sephus went on to Georgia Tech for her master's and Ph.D in electrical and computer engineering (she received those degrees in 2010 and 2014, respectively), and Walker caught back up with her at Georgia Tech, when he began working on his doctorate in electrical and computer engineering. He left the program in 2016.
While there, Sephus met Jewel Burks, who was interested in starting a technology company that would identify replacement parts for everyday items via photo recognition software, thus making it much easier to get spare parts to customers in a timely way.
Sephus saw the technology challenge and potential of the company, but she says she also relished the chance to support and work with another African American woman. They started the venture early 2013.
Partpic, as they eventually called the company, proved to be a startup success story. The company was particularly effective at placing and winning at startup pitch contests, from Tech Crunch to SXSW to "Rise of the Rest," a $100,000 pitch award that Revolution, a group headed by AOL founder Steve Case, funds. All of the winnings even netted the company a trip to the White House in 2015, where Burks and her co-founder Jason Crain introduced the company to President Barack Obama.
The success on the "startup circuit" led to a $1.5-million round of funding for the Atlanta-based company, at which point Sephus joined the company at Chief Technology Office, and Walker came on board as an engineer in 2015.
In May 2016, Sephus gave a talk in Boston; in the audience was someone who said he was from Amazon, and that he would call soon. He did and, after the due diligence and accounting involved, Amazon acquired Partpic, but the business remained in Atlanta as a separate office, where Sephus and Walker now work.
Walker and Sephus frequently come back to Jackson. Sephus plans to start a nonprofit in Jackson called The Bean Path, which will provide technology expertise and consulting advise to those who are interested in getting their technology and ideas vetted.
Walker offers advice for others from Jackson who believe they can do more: "Be bold—be fearless—there are a lot of unsolved problems, there's a lot of work to be done. Go where your passion is."