SoCon Entrepreneurship Challenge, Macon Georgia
Mercer University Stetson-Hatcher School of Business hosted the second annual SoCon Entrepreneurship Challenge at its Macon, Georgia campus, March 31- April 1.
The SoCon Entrepreneurship Challenge, a product of the Southern Conference’s Academic Exchange program, is a pitch competition designed to highlight students with an idea for an innovative business or nonprofit organization. The competition features two tracks — for-profit and nonprofit. In addition to Mercer, the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, The Citadel, Samford University, Virginia Military Institute, Western Carolina University and Wofford College all sent teams to the compete for the top prize.
The fourteen teams in the challenge pitched their organization to a panel of judges over two days. The panel included volunteers from private and non-profit sectors. From Georgia Power, Vanessa Wagner, Marketing Program Manager, volunteered as a judge and shared with them tools and resources available to grow their idea or business, including the website GrowGeorgia.com.
“It was a privilege to meet with the students, advisors, and families. Learning that many of the students had already launched their business or non-profit was inspiring,” shared Vanessa, “Since many of them planned to continue building on their idea, it was important to let them know they don’t have to do this alone. After graduation, there are countless programs and people that are available to help them continue their entrepreneurial journey.”
In 2022 GrowGeoriga.com was launched by Georgia Power Community & Economic Development to help accelerate the growth of small and diverse-owned firms by connecting them to resources focused on their success. By aggregating statewide resources for funding, supplier-inclusion, training, and networking – Grow Georgia is a one-stop location to find help starting and growing a business in Georgia.
Competition Heats Up Saturday
Between pitches, the judges were available to answer questions and share feedback with the student teams. The students used this input in their final pitches. The final round of pitches was incredibly strong, making the judges work more difficult in selecting the top organizations. By Saturday afternoon, the results were in.
And the winners are...
For the non-profit category, the top place went to Pre-Dent Prevent, an oral care box for preventative dental care. Social Hour, a social media management and content creation startup, took the top award in the for-profit group.
Congratulations to all the student teams and thank you for your hard work and commitment to improving your communities through entrepreneurship.