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17th Annual Gillespie Business Plan Competition–Applications now open!!!

April 9 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), at the University of Mississippi, will host its 17th annual Gillespie Business Plan Competition virtually on Friday, April 9, 2021.

The deadline to apply is Sunday, March 28, 2021.

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:

  • 1st 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.
  • 2nd 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 about please visit www.olemisscie.com/programs/gillespie-business-plan/ or contact Tong Meng at tmeng@bus.olemiss.edu.


April 9
9:00 am - 5:00 pm


Tong Meng