Three teams received $1,000 in prize money at the annual Elevator Pitch competition


ATLANTA/MACON – Mercer University Stetson-Hatcher School of Business awarded a total of $1,000 in prizes for three business ideas pitched at the Mercer Innovation Center’s Elevator Pitch competition held on October 13 via Zoom.

Typically lasting about two minutes, elevator pitches show an entrepreneur’s ability to conceptualize a business so concisely and effectively that they could step into a hypothetical elevator, meet a potential investor, and convey the idea. essence of his business by the time the elevator reaches the 20th floor, so the investor would be interested enough to schedule another meeting to find out more. The contest allows students to brainstorm an idea and decide if it’s something they want to pursue.

The Mercer Innovation Center’s goal is to support student entrepreneurs through mentorship and funding, and this competition accomplishes both by providing students with feedback on their ideas and seed money to help get those ideas off the ground.

The competition, open to all students from all Mercer campuses, included 60 individuals or teams who submitted video submissions.

Submissions were narrowed down to 16 finalists, who each presented virtually to a panel of judges, including Mac Byrdon, CEO of Bear Food LLC; Emma Foulkes, founder of Collective Wealth Partners; John Wilson Gordon, finance lecturer at Mercer; Petrina Bloodworth, director of the Atlanta Public Schools Office of Internal Compliance; Dr. Ronald Tsang, assistant professor of accounting at Mercer; and Heaven Whitby, director of Startup Macon.

Patrick Tweel won first place for his patented technology, Coale Cookware, which offers consumers the first-ever fully insulated induction tea kettle.

First place and a $500 prize went to Patrick Tweel, an MBA student with a concentration in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Atlanta campus, for his patented technology, Coale Cookware, which provides consumers with the first-ever kettle to fully insulated induction tea. Aimed at a booming market, its attractive design is safer and more efficient than leading competitors, providing a better overall user experience.

Two finalists tied for second place and each received a $250 prize.

Chloe Paulk, a freshman BBA student majoring in marketing from the Macon campus, introduced Cake it with Chloe, an award-winning, Cottage Foods-licensed baking company established in 2019 in a small rural town in southern Georgia. The company offers different types of cakes and desserts, with the addition of gluten-sensitive options. Being gluten-free allowed Paulk to recognize the underserved market of people with food intolerances and created a passion in her to reach that market. At Cake it with Chloe, she believes everyone deserves a piece of cake on their birthday, regardless of their food intolerance.

Cassandra Hopkins, Julie Mai and Elizabeth Shockley, a team of online BBA students majoring in management, launched Bundle Thrift, a service that ships large batches of gently used children’s clothing, toys, shoes and books based on the customer’s choice at a very low cost price. Their business model is to ship items in bulk directly to consumers to save busy parents time and money while contributing to sustainable efforts.

“I am proud of all the competitors. They presented practical and professional original ideas,” said Dr. Briana Stenard, associate professor of management and entrepreneurship, who served as an academic advisor for the competition. “We had wonderful collaboration from all campuses with great submissions and winners from both Atlanta and Macon campuses. They made it difficult for the judges to choose the winners.

Dr. Marko Horn, associate professor of management and entrepreneurship, and Stephanie Howard, director of the Mercer Innovation Center and lecturer in marketing, also served as academic advisors for the competition.

About the business school

Founded in 1984, Mercer’s School of Business is named after Eugene W. Stetson, a 1901 Mercer graduate and business pioneer who leveraged the first major buyout in the company’s history, and his grand- son Robert F. (Bob) Hatcher, a Macon businessman and longtime supporter. , Administrator and former Chairman of the Board of the University. Over the past 80 years, Mercer has granted more than 12,000 business degrees, and many of its graduates hold leadership positions in companies around the world. Mercer’s business school provides career-focused business education to develop innovative leaders who are responsible global citizens. It is accredited by the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), placing it among the top five percent of business schools in the world. Mercer’s business school has been recognized by The Princeton Review for “Greatest Opportunity for Minority Students” and “Greatest Opportunity for Women,” in addition to being one of its “Best business schools. Additionally, it has been recognized among the “15 Best Schools in the Nation for Marketing and Accounting”. The school offers the following programs: Atlanta (Evening and Online BBA, Full-Time (Daytime) MBA), Evening MBA, Online MBA, Masters in Accounting, MS in Business Analytics), Macon (Traditional BBA, MBA in Evening, Healthcare MBA, and Innovation MBA), Henry County (Evening BBA). For more information, visit


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