Three Teams Win Cash Prize in ‘Next Big Idea’ Undergraduate Business Presentation Competition


MACON – Three teams of students – PeBeAre, Dissatisfied and Rwanda team – won prizes in the undergraduate portion of the Mercer Innovation Center’s annual Next Big Idea competition.

The competition has been changed this year to include an undergraduate competition in Macon this fall and a graduate student competition in Atlanta in the spring.

Undergraduate finalists presented 10-minute presentations to a live audience and a panel of judges on December 3 at the Mercer Innovation Center on the Macon campus.

First place in the for-profit division and $ 2,500 in funding was awarded to PeBeAre (Potential Becomes Reality), a social platform billed as “LinkedIn but for athletes” where potential young athletes can connect, benefit and collaborate with successful brands and other athletes from around the world.

PeBeAre was founded by August Jording, a second year graduate student in Swedish finance and entrepreneurship, who is also a member of Mercer’s men’s golf team, and Petter Hagberg, a fellow Swedish university golfer, who has a dual expertise in business administration and marketing at Campbell University.

Second place in the for-profit division and $ 1,000 in funding was awarded to Malcontents, an e-commerce brand focused on producing Crocs ™ charms that empower people to express themselves and represent where they are from. are coming.

Malcontents was founded by former Mercer male soccer players Andrew Anyafo and Ricardo Parker. Anyafo, a double major in finance and entrepreneurship, is graduating this semester, and Parker is studying mechanical engineering at Florida Atlantic University.

First place in the nonprofit division and $ 2,500 in funding has been awarded to Team Rwanda, a group of students who worked with a group of Rwandan women on a Mercer On Mission trip and plan to bring them to help sell their handicrafts locally and through e-commerce.

The Mercer On Mission team has helped women create a business plan, marketing plan, brand name and logo and want to help them take the next step and realize their dream of selling their products in America. The Agaciro brand will offer bags, such as handbags, tote bags, laptop cases, duffel bags and backpacks and jewelry, with 100% of the proceeds going to Rwandan women.

Team Rwanda’s Mercer students include Emma Drash, triple major in international business, marketing and management; Aaryanna Mercer, double major in junior management and marketing; Martha Corinn Thompson, sophomore holistic studies student; Brant Zulauf, major junior in sports marketing; and Taj Patterson, senior human resources management specialist.

About the business school

Founded in 1984, the Mercer’s School of Business is named after Eugene W. Stetson, a 1901 Mercer graduate and business pioneer who capitalized on the first major buyout in the company’s history, and its small son Robert F. (Bob) Hatcher, a Macon businessman, long-time supporter, administrator and former Chairman of the University’s Board of Trustees. Over the past 80 years, Mercer has awarded more than 12,000 business degrees, and many of its graduates hold leadership positions in companies around the world. Mercer’s Business School offers career-focused business education to develop innovative leaders who are responsible global citizens. It holds accreditation from the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), which places it among the top five percent of the best business schools in the world. Mercer Business School recognized by Princeton Review for “Greatest Opportunity for Minority Students” and “Greatest Opportunity for Women” as well as one of its “Best Business Schools” . Additionally, it has been recognized as one of the “Nation’s 15 Best Schools for Marketing and Accounting”. The school offers the following programs: Atlanta (evening and BBA online, full-time MBA (day), evening MBA, online MBA, masters in accounting, masters in business analysis), Macon (traditional BBA, MBA evening, MBA in healthcare, and Innovation MBA), Henry County (Evening BBA). For more information, visit

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