Mercer Innovation Center Announces Winners of Next Big Idea Competition

Next Big Idea 2019

MACON/ATLANTA – The Mercer Innovation Center recently awarded prize money to seven teams on the University’s Macon and Atlanta campuses as part of the Next Big Idea Competition to help student entrepreneurs launch their businesses.

In Macon on April 12, Kingfisher Buckle won first place, Royalty Headware won second place, and Momentum Mentorship won third place, while in Atlanta on April 13, 4DRVRZ won first place, MistiKool won second place, and Érmode and Legacy Pops tied for third place.

Kingfisher Buckle

First place (Macon) – Kingfisher Buckle (Luke Kolbie)

The Kingfisher Buckle is an updated design for use in the belt and strap hardware industry.


First place (Atlanta) – 4DRVRZ (Heather Markle)

4DRVRZ is an app that puts auto enthusiasts in the driver’s seat to quickly and easily find exactly the car they want.

Royalty Headwear

Second place (Macon) – Royalty Headware (Jabril Edmondson and DeShun Gilchrist)

Royalty Headwear is an innovative hair care company that improved on an existing product, the durag, which is used to compress hair curls to generate a “wave”-like pattern.


Second place (Atlanta) – MistiKool (James Wiggins and Jame Kelly)

MistiKool is an easy-to-install device that clips to the side of your existing outside air conditioner to pre-cool the air around your outside air conditioner using evaporation.

Momentum Mentorship

Third place (Macon) – Momentum Mentorship (Alfred Troy)

The Momentum Mentorship Program is a nonprofit college preparatory program designed to help low-income minority students obtain resources that will assist them in their college application process.

Ermode and Legacy Pops

Third place (Atlanta) – Érmode (Nitou Makidi) and Legacy Pops (Melissa Waller)

ÉrMode Collection is an apparel product service that allows customers to embrace their African roots by providing unique authentic African-print clothing while meeting the standard of professional office wear.

Legacy Pops is a Southern-based company that has turned signature cocktails into delicious adult popsicle treats.

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