Gillespie Business Plan Competition

Apr 09, 2021

Event Overview

Since 2005, the annual Gillespie Business Plan Competition, organized by the School of Business Administration has been fostering entrepreneurship by encouraging students to develop their business ideas. The hallmark program of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is open to any undergraduate or graduate student enrolled at the university.

This year the Gillespie Business Plan Competition will be held in a one-day format. Every student who enters will have the opportunity to pitch their business. Teams will continue to pitch throughout the day in a tournament format culminating in a money round pitch in the later afternoon where over $20,000 in prize money will be awarded to support student businesses. Also at that reception, we will award the Farrington Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Over the years, many innovative Ole Miss Students gained their entrepreneurial start and subsequently launched successful companies from the competition. Each year the winners receive over $20,000 in cash and in-kind services. Cash awards are made as scholarships through the students’ bursar account.

The Gillespie Competition runs during the spring semester each year. Interested students or student teams enter the competition by completing an online form describing the most important aspects of their business idea. 

This event is held with a public audience and distinguished outside business professionals as judges. The first, second, and third places are awarded cash and prizes with the winner also receiving free rent for a year at Insight Park’s Innovation Hub. Since 2019, the Thomas W. Colbert-Community Bank Innovation Award was established to recognize an outstanding venture driven by innovation in a product/process/service or development of a technological change. The Lynn and Ron Samuels Student Entrepreneur Award will also recognize a student entrepreneur venture team who exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit through a venture driven by innovation in a product, process or service. 

Past Gillespie Winners

Event Details


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