By: Mateo Osorno
Photography by: Shay Richards
On October 13th and 14th, the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute (ENI) partnered with Zane Venture Fund to host the first-ever Entrepreneurship SummitGSU and third annual Main Street Entrepreneurs Seed Fund (MSESF) Demo Day. The Demo Day, day 1 of this year’s summit, featured a pitch competition and business showcase featuring the MSESF founders. Zane Venture Fund’s Innovation Day on day 2 offered student-focused investment seminars, panel discussions on entrepreneurship, a disruptive business hackathon, and more.
The third annual Main Street Entrepreneurs Seed Fund Demo Day opened with the founders’ business showcase, allowing time to network and demonstrate their business ideas to guests and judges alike. This year, an accomplished panel of entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders served as judges, including Shila Nieves Burney of Zane Venture Fund, Graham Gintz of Knightley, Tami McQueen of Panoramic Ventures, Sig Mosley of Mosley Ventures, LLC, and Seth Radman of Infinite Giving. Several Demo Day judges participated in Business RadioX’s onsite live radio broadcast, along with other special guests, including Georgia State President M. Brian Blake, and Interim Provost, Nicole Parsons-Pollard, who also attended Demo Day.
Fifteen (15) companies, led by MSESF founders, took the stage to present their business ventures with the hopes of taking home prizes to advance their early-stage businesses. Beginning with Athleaders 360 and ending with Yellow Blanket, each founder pitched their business effectively and passionately to the judges and an audience of more than 120 in attendance. After tallying the scorecards and much deliberation, five companies were awarded prizes to support the growth of their thriving businesses. Congratulations go to Xavier Hatten Jr. of Xnalysis for winning the People’s Choice Award and a prize of $500, Meredith Rose of HomeTele SLP for receiving the Engagement Award and a prize of $2,000, Ngozi Ahanotu of HiiHat for taking home third place and a prize of $3,000, Jennifer Owens of Co-Created for winning second place and a prize of $6,000, and Jad and Amir Helmy of HealthyAppy Tech for coming in first place and taking home a prize of $10,000!
ENI and Zane’s first-ever Innovation Day started with a bang, with students from all backgrounds participating in a disruptive business hackathon! The rest of the day was filled with panels and workshops covering early-stage entrepreneurship and investing as well as Zane Founder Pitches. The day ended with a truly inspirational speech from Jay Bailey, President and CEO of the Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (RICE), who encouraged everyone to believe in themselves as an entrepreneur and the importance of finding their tribe.
This year’s summit was impactful on so many people in so many ways and we are grateful to have the privilege of working with individuals who execute and deliver amazing outcomes no matter what the circumstances. A special thanks to the community and industry experts who helped along the way, to the judges, and to the many students and Georgia State family that attended the Entrepreneurship SummitGSU 2022 to celebrate our MSESF founders and partake in our first ever Innovation Day.
The Main Street Entrepreneurs Seed Fund is supported by donations from The Marcus Foundation, Bank of America, and Georgia State alumnus Ahmet Bozer (‘83), a retired executive vice president at Coca-Cola.
To find out more, visit the MSESF website.