MACON – The Mercer Innovation Center (MIC) is seeking aspiring entrepreneurs to participate in its annual Next Big Idea competition, which has been modified this year to include an undergraduate competition in Macon this fall and a graduate student competition in Atlanta in the spring.

Registration for the undergraduate competition opened Oct. 1 to all currently enrolled Mercer undergraduate students from all Mercer campuses, majors and years of study.

Submissions may be entered by individuals or teams. Each individual or team may enter one idea, and individuals may participate on only one team. At least one member of each team must be a currently enrolled Mercer student.

Students may register for the competition by completing an online application at and submitting a one- to three-page executive summary by the deadline of Nov. 1.

Finalists will be announced on Nov. 12 and will deliver a 10-minute pitch to a panel of judges and a live audience on Dec. 3 from 3-6 p.m. at the Mercer Innovation Center.

Up to $6,000 in prizes, provided by the Mercer Innovation Center, will be awarded to the winners.

“We are looking forward to seeing the innovative ideas of our students this year,” said Dr. Briana Stenard, assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship and one of the faculty advisers for the competition. “Mercer is committed to mentoring and supporting our student entrepreneurs.”

For more information visit or submit questions to

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