Thursday, July 7, 2022

New Business Ideas Can Win Student Entrepreneurs $10K

The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Mississippi will host its 17th annual Gillespie Business Plan Competition virtually on April 9.

The deadline to apply is March 28.

To apply, participants must submit:

  • A brief form with basic information
  • A one-minute entry video demonstrating the problem they are solving; how they’re solving it and their target audience.

Everyone who enters the competition will have the opportunity to pitch an idea. Each applicant must have at least one current full-time Ole Miss undergraduate or graduate student who is assisting in creating and managing the venture.

Participants who enter the competition have the chance to win many awards, including:

  • First-Place Prize: $10,000: distributed in two portions as a check to the incorporated company. The winner will also be awarded office space at Insight Park as long as admission criteria are met for the incubator.
  • Second-Place Prize: $5,000: distributed as a check to the incorporated company.
  • Four Runner-Up Prizes: $1,000: deposited in the students’ bursar account.
  • Thomas W. Colbert-Community Bank Innovation Award: $5,000
  • Lynn and Ron Samuels Student Entrepreneur Award: $5,000
  • Stephen E. Rowell Entrepreneur Award: $5,000

Past Gillespie winners have included DaisNotes, a grouping platform that allows students to interact with other students in note sharing and other tutoring efforts, developed by Nicholas Neilson-Slabach and Kyle Herbert and Collegiate Tutoring, an Oxford-based company that connects college students with tutors to help them learn important concepts and improve their grades, developed by Lee Ingram.

The 2020 Thomas W. Colbert-Community Bank Innovators award went to Tereza Janatova and Matthew Currie’s DataBrace, a knee brace that tracks the range and motion of the knee.

The 2020 Lynn and Samuels Student Entrepreneurs award went to Maverick McSparin and Kathryn Bickerstaff, two students who developed Vaught It, a portable storage service for tailgating on football game days.

For more information, visit or contact Tong Meng at

Staff report

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