2016 Gillespie Business Plan Competition Produces New Businesses

The Ole Miss Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship announced the winners of the 2016 Gillespie Business Plan Competition on April 8, 2016.

The competition, sponsored by the Mabus Agency and Renasant Bank in its tenth year, began on February 21. The pool of 40 business teams narrowed to six finalists from which Nimble Fashion prevailed as the winner and recipient of $10,000 to apply to their business.

“Winning the Gillespie Competition is such an honor,” said founder Sara Kiparizoska. “I am so proud to say that the University of Mississippi is helping us launch a women’s fashion business nationwide.”

Kiparizoska and the Nimble Fashion team competed in the 2015 competition and came up short in the finals, but continued to work on their business, and launched an iOS in January of this year.

“We didn’t even place in the Gillespie competition last year, but that’s what helped motivate us for this year,” said Kiparizoska. “The guidelines and high expectations set by the competition motivated us to improve our product and come back for a second round.”

12961299_1669564596640782_955870174464776830_oFollowing Nimble Fashion was the second place winner of $5,000, Drone Storm, a propriety piloting application for drones. Okay2Eat, a program to assist those with food allergies, won the third place prize for $2,500; and the illiteracy combating application, SeeHearSay, won the $2,500 prize for Best Business for Mississippi.

“The University has not only supported us financially but most importantly, given us great mentors and advisors,” explained Kiparizoska. “We are so thankful to have such great passionate faculty that believes in us and our idea.”

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