MACON – Mercer Innovation Center (MIC) today announced its fourth class of fellows – four new businesses that will launch with funding and support from the MIC – in addition to two companies-in-residence that will be provided office space and additional resources by the Center.
These six promising new and developing companies will maintain operations in Macon, with one relocating from Atlanta.
The annual Mercer Innovation Fellowships are open to entrepreneurs, 18 and older, from across the world, in addition to current Mercer students. Fellows receive a prize package that may include up to $20,000 in funding, parking on Mercer’s campus, office space and MIC membership for a year, paid student interns, access to Mercer facilities, access to local investors, and coaching and mentoring by the Center’s advisory board.
This year’s four fellows – KalMed Healthcare, KRS MedTech, Angled and Royalty Headwear – bring the total number of fellowship recipients to 13 over the first four years of the program. Past fellows include KUDU Safari Braai, HeadNoise, Hygeia, MedaSol, Ultimental, 43 Tech, Send Mammogram and Z Beans Coffee.
“This year’s pool of fellowship applicants was the most competitive to date, and we are excited to support this group of incoming startups,” said Stephanie Howard, deputy director of the Mercer Innovation Center. “One of the goals of the Mercer Innovation Center is to help entrepreneurs launch sustainable businesses, which ultimately impacts the Macon-Bibb County economy.”
- KalMed Healthcare, founded by Alan Kalinda, is a diagnostic testing system offering a more cost-effective medium for blood testing with a goal of increasing patient compliance with annual testing.
- KRS MedTech, founded by Mercer School of Engineering alumni Rutt Patel, Shawn Pitter and Kevin Sabusay, developed an improved design for a spinal backboard to conform to the shape of a patient’s spine.
- Angled, founded by Christopher Rice, is an attachment for a phone charger to protect it from breaking while also providing a unique way to identify one’s charger from others belonging to friends or family members.
- Royalty Headwear, founded by Mercer alumni Jabril Edmonson and DeShun Gilchrist, offers redesigned durags and compression caps with a goal of creating comfortable and convenient products that improve hair health.
This year’s fellows are supported in part by a Downtown Challenge Grant from the Community Foundation of Central Georgia that will support business formation and patent filing as the fellows develop their companies.
Additionally, two fellowship applicants were selected as companies-in-residence and will receive support from the MIC, such as office space and interns. They include Hickman Marketing, founded by Mercer freshman Jason Hickman, and Independent Laundry Company, founded by Mitchell Perry, who earned his MBA from Mercer’s School of Business and Economics.
All MIC companies will participate in the CO.STARTERS program, which aims to equip aspiring entrepreneurs with the insights, relationships and tools they need to turn ideas into action and turn a passion into a sustainable and thriving endeavor.
CO.STARTERS, which costs $199 to attend, is open to community members and will begin in September. For more information, contact Howard at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Mercer Innovation Center
The Mercer Innovation Center is an effort by Mercer University, along with community partners such as the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority, Birch Communications, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Dr. Hugh F. Smisson III, to advance a culture of innovation and develop a thriving community of entrepreneurs, with a focus on utilizing technology to foster economic growth, create 21st century jobs and attract and retain talent. The Center is an institutional effort – led by the Stetson School of Business and Economics – that crosses academic disciplines and geographic boundaries to draw from all of the University’s colleges, schools, departments and operating units. Community memberships are available, as the Center’s activities and resources are intended to be available to Mercer students and non-students alike. For more information, visit mic.mercer.edu.