Mercer Students to Compete for Inaugural Georgia InVenture Prize


ATLANTA – A team of four Mercer University students will participate in the inaugural Georgia InVenture Prize competition, hosted by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce April 3-4 at Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB).

The Georgia InVenture Prize highlights the state’s innovation ecosystem and its high potential, ambitious and growth-oriented student entrepreneurs. Teams of students were chosen by 19 of the state’s colleges and universities, and each will present a unique business solution to a panel of judges.

Mercer’s team includes Sachin Khurana, a junior finance, economics and management triple-major from Macon; Olivier Stuart, a junior finance major from Paris, France; Kristen Black, a senior graphic design and French double-major from Covington; and Hayes Rule, a senior journalism and communication double-major from Eatonton. Dr. Briana Stenard, assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship, serves as the team’s adviser for the competition.

They will present MyPath, a mobile app that consolidates all of a university’s academic and campus resources. The app features pages specific to each university, including descriptions of majors and associated careers, a student-to-student textbook exchange, undergraduate research opportunities, campus job openings, a student organization finder, a general event calendar and a course planner.

The competition will be broadcast live from GPB studios in Atlanta beginning at 4 p.m. on April 4.

American actor, comedian and TV personality Mark Curry will host the competition, and the judges include Super Soaker inventor Lonnie Johnson, MomGenius founder Tiffany Krumins and Better Options Company CEO and owner Janelle Fitzpatrick.

In addition to Mercer, participating institutions include Albany State University, Atlanta Technical College, Augusta Technical College, Columbus State University, Dalton State College, Fort Valley State University, Georgia College and State University, Georgia Gwinnett College, Georgia Tech, Georgia Southern University, Georgia State University, Kennesaw State University, Middle Georgia State University, Savannah State University, Southern Regional Technical College, the University of Georgia, the University of North Georgia and Valdosta State University.

The winning institution will receive the Georgia InVenture Prize Cup to display on its campus for the year.

“We are very excited about this year’s first Georgia InVenture Prize Initiative,” said Georgia InVenture Prize Program Manager Cathy Hill. “We will showcase some very high-potential, ambitious and business-oriented student entrepreneurs within the college system. Thank you to all of our partners for the continued support.”

The Georgia Chamber’s partners for the competition include the Technical College System of Georgia, Georgia Department of Education and Georgia Public Broadcasting. Additional support was provided by the Georgia Power Foundation, and prize sponsors include the University System of Georgia, NCR Corporation, Georgia Lottery Corporation and Gulfstream.

About the Georgia Chamber of Commerce

As the state’s largest business organization and the only Chamber to win Chamber of the Year and State Chamber of the Year two years in a row, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce represents investors in every county of our state with a diverse cross-section of over 500 industry sectors. Our membership includes both small storefronts and large corporations – no matter the size or type of business, we provide proactive policy, aggressive advocacy and meaningful investor services that impact your bottom line. Our number one mission is keeping, growing, and creating jobs to make Georgia a better state for business. We work to ensure to economic competitiveness, innovative solutions to challenges the state faces and a commitment to high quality of life. The Georgia Chamber serves as a partner for local chambers across the state. While we have many of the same goals, the Georgia Chamber focuses on statewide issues that impact Georgia’s entire business community.