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2018 Next Big Idea Competition registration now open

Registration for the 2018 Next Big Idea Competition, an annual event for Mercer students to pitch business ideas to investors, is now open.

The competition is aimed at giving Mercer business students the opportunity to present their innovative business ideas and gain real entrepreneurial experience. All students currently enrolled at Mercer are eligible to compete and there is no fee for entry.  

“The main goal of the innovation center really was to bring a culture of entrepreneurship to Mercer,” said Briana Stenard, one of the competition’s key organizers. “That’s [also] the main goal of this competition.”

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Students can compete in teams of 1-5 as long as at least one of the members is a Mercer undergraduate. 

Those who register for the event will submit a 2-minute YouTube video pitch, a one-page business canvas and an executive summary by midnight on March 14.  

Students' eligibility to participate in the final pitch competition will be decided by their video pitch and additional documentation.  

If selected, students will pitch their business idea in front of a panel of investors at the Mercer Innovation Center on April 13 at 3 p.m.  

Students participating in the final pitch will be eligible to win either the first-place prize of $6,000 or the second-place prize of $2,500.  

Additionally, whichever team gets the most likes on their YouTube video pitch will win the "Bear’s Choice" award of $500.  

It is encouraged that students use the prize money to start their businesses, though this is only required of the first-place team.  

Informational workshops hosted by professors of the Stetson School of Business will be held for competitors who feel unprepared or simply wish to learn more about the entrepreneurial process. These workshops will cover business model creation, pitching, small business finance and more.  

Sophomore business student Max Hurley plans on competing in the event.

“Entrepreneurship is one of the reasons I picked Mercer’s business school, and I highly encourage others to spend an hour of their day and come to the competition," Hurley said.

Interested students can contact

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