The 17th annual UM business plan competition opens applications – The Daily Mississippian


The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is practically hosting the 17th annual Gillespie Business Plan competition on April 9th. The application for the competition was opened yesterday.

The Gillespie business plan competition is organized by the School of Business Administration in 2006 in honor of Edwin C. Gillespie, a 1943 business graduate. The competition offers young entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop business ideas and possibly start their own small businesses.

First place winners of the competition will receive $ 10,000 and office space in Insight Park, the university’s innovation hub. Runner-ups will receive $ 5,000, and the four runner-ups will each receive $ 1,000 in their scholarship accounts.

Since 2019, the competition has awarded three unassigned participants with additional prizes. The Thomas W. Colbert-Community Bank Innovation Award was created to recognize the team that is driven by innovation in terms of products, processes, services or technological change. The Student Entrepreneurship Award from Lynn and Ron Samuels honors a team that embodies entrepreneurship through its innovation. The Stephen E. Rowell Entrepreneur Award is a US $ 5,000 award for a team or individual who symbolizes the spirit of entrepreneurship through their innovation.

According to start statistics from Small business trendsOnly 4% of small business owners are between 18 and 29 years old.

Nicholas Neilson-Slabach and Kyle Herbert –– Ole Miss Alaune and the winners of the Gillespie Business Plan Competition 2020 –– released their app DaisNotes this semester. DaisNotes, which they compared to GroupMe, are designed to help students get to know their classmates, share notes, and share common interests.

Neilson-Slabach said he and Herbert thought the app was a great way to get students to interact with each other on campus, especially with the pandemic. Since presenting their business plan in the competition, they have decided to add a new feature to the app: interest categories such as cooking, nightlife, Greek life and shopping.

“It’s basically just these big chats that anyone can talk to people about things because a lot of people feel really isolated right now,” said Neilson-Slabach.

Neilson-Slabach and Herbert admit they have had some trouble due to COVID-19, although they consider their app’s launch a success.

“I would say what made this the most difficult thing to do is speak to people who actually downloaded our app. We can go to the Union and try to talk to people. But it’s not really socially responsible to do that, so we tried to be creative, ”said Herbert.

You can find applications on the CIE website.