Stetson Announces Winner of Next Big Idea Competition
The Mercer University – Eugene W. Stetson School of Business & Economics has recently announced the winners of their annual Next Big Idea Competition, sponsored by the Mercer Innovation Center.
The Next Big Idea competition was open to Mercer students competing as individuals or in teams of up to five people. To enter, students were required to submit both a two-minute video pitch and a one-page business canvas for their idea. Finalists were selected and pitch videos made available to watch on YouTube, where the videos received more than 8,000 views overall and 2,000 votes.
On March 31, the eight competition finalists were given the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges, with $9,000 of prize money at stake.
In first place—and recipient of the Bear’s Choice Award for having the most online views—was Faiz Aly and Ridge Woods with their company WorkUp. The company aims to create a social marketing platform which can connect local freelancers and their clients. Clients can easily look through the portfolios of freelancers, allowing them greater exposure and opportunity to find work. Conversely, clients can select the best person for the job by sorting freelancers by distance or ratings, and even scheduling meetings with them through the platform. For first place, the two took home $6,000 with another $500 for the Bear’s Choice award.
In second place was Aaron Scherf and Brandon Hancock with LanLink, a software company which provides “secure database systems for government deeds offices.” Using blockchain technology, LandLink can safeguard land titles from fraud, while simultaneously making land data accessible to a greater audience. The company hopes to help governments to more easily protect the right of land ownership by creating secure and easily accessible registries. For second place, Scherf and Hancock took home $2,500.