Business Administration / Meredith Social Entrepreneurship Challenge

Meredith Social Entrepreneurship Challenge

2020 Meredith (Social) Entrepreneurship Challenge!

Have a business idea you’re interested in developing?

Here’s your chance!

The Meredith (Social) Entrepreneurship Challenge (MSEC) is an annual venture idea competition with a special emphasis on societal needs. Student groups compete for a $4,000 grand prize!

Click Here to Enter!

Application opens on February 3rd, 2020

Complete by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, February 26th, 2020

The challenge is open to all Meredith graduate and undergraduate students. To enter, teams of 1-3 students should complete the entry form by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, February 26th. Any business or nonprofit idea is welcome! There’s no idea too big or too small for this competition.   

The executive summary is a sales pitch that presents the idea for initial evaluation in a short and compelling form. The effort involved in preparing the concept requires the team to carefully and realistically assess the opportunity. The idea feasibility, when completed, will present the key information needed to evaluate the opportunity, without going into the depth that a full business plan requires.

Caption: 2019 Elevator Pitch Challenge Winners: McKenzie May, Caitlin Chastain, Kathryn McNeil, Maddison Loewe, Jon Rosar (CEO & Founder of RevGen)
2019 Elevator Pitch Challenge Winners: McKenzie May, Caitlin Chastain, Kathryn McNeil, Maddison Loewe, Jon Rosar (CEO & Founder of RevGen)

Caption: 2019 Community Showcase
2019 Community Showcase


Important Dates & Events:

Wednesday, February 19th at 10:00 am - Guest Speaker: Author & Entrepreneur Cynthia Wheaton (Harris 110)

Wednesday, February 26th at 11:59 pm – Submission form to enter is due.

Thursday, March 5th by 5:00 pm – Up to 15 semi-finalist groups will be contacted.

If your group is selected as a Semifinalist, you are required to attend and prepare for the following:

Thursday, March 26th at 6:00 pm - Semifinalist Speedpitch Workshop – This is not a judged event. This helps prepare you for your pitch to judges. (Harris 102 & 104)

Wednesday, April 1st - Sharktank-Style Presentation - Choose a 20-minute time slot between 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. to present to a panel of judges. (Location TBD)

Wednesday, April 8th from 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Community Showcase – Interactive Poster Display – Winners announced. (Johnson Hall Rotunda)


A combination of women executives, Meredith alumnae with business ownership experience, and friends of Meredith with business ownership experience will serve as judges and mentors for the MSEC. 

We welcome all Meredith students interested in starting a business (regardless of how competitive you believe your idea is) to enter the MSEC and be mentored by our distinguished experts.

Past & Present Executive Judges and Mentors

Cynthia Wheaton - Meredith College Class of 1975Cynthia Wheaton - Meredith College Class of 1975

As a manager, Cynthia developed new ventures within Sara Lee Direct and World Book Encyclopedia. At Kestnbaum & Company, she learned the consulting business. After a decade as an independent database marketing consultant, she joined forces with her husband to create Wheaton Group LLC, a successful boutique consulting firm. She is author of “Are You Ready to Start Your Own Business? - A sanity check for those who dream of self-employment.”

Ruth Taylor - Meredith Friend & AdvocateRuth Taylor - Meredith Friend & Advocate

Ruth Taylor is the owner of Mrs. Ruth's Jams, an artisanal jam business specializing in small-batch, NC based jams ( Ruth also has a technology career ranging from offering management, marketing strategy, new business development, leading strategic partnerships, and mergers & acquisitions. Ruth has been involved as owner, investor, and advisor to many entrepreneurial businesses.

Mary Esther Baker - Meredith College Class of 1996Mary Esther Baker - Meredith College Class of 1996

After retiring as a development officer with a large non-profit, Mary Esther Baker was inspired to develop Visit NC Concierge, a travel company showcasing North Carolina's geography, history and culture. As a native North Carolinian passionate about the state, her knowledge and keen insights into the state are evident in the authentic, all-inclusive travel experiences she creates.

Betsy Best Phillips - Meredith College Class of 1971

Betsy’s work experience includes third party Accountant for GTE, senior accountant for PCS Phosphate of Saskatchewan, CFO for Rainmaker Marketing, Inc., senior property accountant for Highwoods Properties, Inc. REIT, and founder and principal of Best Commercial Properties a full service commercial real estate firm.


2019 MSEC Winners:

  1. Julia Johnson - BrewBus
    Micro-brewery dedicated “food truck” that aims to change the way individuals think about supporting small/unique businesses, specifically in regards to craft beer, and alcohol at events (i.e. weddings, sporting events, company gatherings, etc.)
  2. Lo Alpin - FLEXECOS
    FLEXECOS is a product that allows people to keep their medication at the exact temperature of effectiveness through an active cooling process. This makes it easier for people using specialty medication to travel and take part in all their adventures.
  3. Hank Flynn - Myceres
    Myceres is an idea for a non-profit organization that seeks to develop and use genetically modified baker's yeast strains to treat and prevent global micronutrient deficiencies.

2019 M(S)EC Winners. Julia Johnson, Logan Alpin, Hank Flynn.
2019 M(S)EC Winners. Julia Johnson, Logan Alpin, Hank Flynn.

2018 MSEC Winners:

  1. Santiago Bejarano, Hari Kota - Med Sleeve
  2. Bruklyn Miller - SYRE
  3. Christina Cowperthwait - Mt. Tabor Boarding & Grooming

2017 MSEC Winners:

  1. Brittany Barker - A Chance to Dance
  2. Jovita Lee - A Second Chance
  3. Christina Cowperthwait - Critter Cab

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