Mercer Innovation Center Announces Winners of Next Big Idea Competition


MACON – The Mercer Innovation Center announced the winners of The Next Big Idea business pitch competition on March 31.

All Mercer undergraduate students were eligible to enter the competition as individuals or teams of up to five people. Each entry included a two-minute video pitch and one-page business canvas. Eight finalists pitched their ideas to a panel of judges, who awarded $9,000 in prize money.

The winners included:

First place ($6,000) and Bear's Choice ($500): WorkUp, Faiz Aly and Ridge Woods

WorkUp is a social marketing platform that aims to build a bridge between local freelancers and clients. Freelancers get exposure as they upload their works through the digital portfolio feature, and clients can view them as easily as viewing a post on any other social media app. Clients can view freelancers by distance or ratings, and message them or schedule a meeting with them through the app.

Second place ($2,500): LandLink, Aaron Scherf and Brandon Hancock 

LandLink is a software company that provides secure database systems for government deeds offices. The company's solutions utilize blockchain technology to ensure that land titles are safe from fraud and corruption, while making land data accessible to all. Its mission is to help governments protect the right of individuals to own land through secure and transparent registry systems.

Click here for more information on The Next Big Idea competition.

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 and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, 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