Mercer Innovation Center to Select ‘The Next Big Idea’ Among Eight Finalists in Business Pitch Competition


MACON – The finals of the Mercer Innovation Center's Next Big Idea competition will take place Saturday from 1-3:30 p.m. in Science and Engineering Building Room 110, as $9,000 in prize money will be awarded to students with the best business pitches.

All Mercer undergraduate students were eligible to enter the The Next Big Idea competition as individuals or teams of up to five people. Each entry included a two-minute video pitch and one-page business canvas. This Saturday, the eight finalists will pitch their ideas in front of a panel of judges and members of the community, as the event is open to the public.

The finalists include Gathering Grounds, Honey B Books, Monocle, Our Town Squared, Rocket Farm, the Sole Swap, Zanglers and Voithea.

The first-place individual or team will be awarded $6,000, and an additional $2,500 will go to the runner-up.

Honey B Books and Sole Swap will share the $500 Bear's Choice prize, as their video pitches received the most votes on the competition's YouTube channel.

“The Next Big Idea pitch competition meets a primary goal of the Mercer Innovation Center, which is to inspire a spirit of entrepreneurship among our students,” said Dr. Briana Stenard, assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship in Mercer's Stetson School of Business and Economics and faculty adviser for The Next Big Idea competition.

“We are excited to help our students think innovatively and nurture their ideas. We are looking forward to the development of many new entrepreneurial ventures from this 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