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College of Business and Economic Development

Golden Idea Pitch Competition

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Golden Idea

Do you have an idea for a new product or service? Or perhaps you've recognized where one is needed? Let's make it happen! No experience required—just an idea!

The annual Golden Idea Pitch Competition provides Southern Miss students with support, mentorship, and funding to help launch their big ideas!

All current Southern Miss students–from all majors and all disciplines–are eligible and encouraged to participate! 

Round 1 Submissions Here
  1. Why should I submit an idea? Receive support and mentorship from successful entrepreneurs who want to see you succeed and compete for funding to help launch your big idea!
  2. Do I need any business-related experience or education? No!
  3. Should I still submit an idea even if I don't think it will "change the world"? Absolutely!
  4. Can students work together on an idea? Students may choose to participate individually or in teams of up to 5.
  5. Do participants need to be Southern Miss students? All participants must be currently enrolled in an accredited 4-year college or university with at least half of their team consisting of current Southern Miss students.

For other inquiries, please email The Hatchery at hatcheryFREEMississippi.

Round 1:
Golden Idea Submission Deadline | February 21

Round 2:
Mentor Mixer | March 6

Golden Idea Finals: 
Week 1: April 4 - 5
Week 2: April 11-12

Round 1: Submission Deadline
Date: Deadline is Wednesday, February 21, 2024  |  11:59 PM
Location: You're here! Click here to submit a basic summary of your idea. The uniqueness of your idea is not as important as your determination to understand and successfully solve a problem! The TOP 20 semifinalists will be selected to advance. Results will be announced by Friday, February 23, 2024.

Round 2: Mentor Mixer
Date: Wednesday, March 6, 2024  |  4:00–6:00 PM
Location: TBA
The TOP 20 semifinalists will connect with The Hatchery's entrepreneurship mentors through a casual and fun "speed dating" event. Semifinalists will be prompted in advance to prepare for specific questions that will likely be asked. The TOP 8 finalists will be selected to advance. Results will be announced by Friday, March 8, 2024.

Golden Idea Finals

  • Week 1: Thursday, April 4–Friday, April 5, 2024  |  Times TBA
  • Week 2: Thursday, April 11–Friday, April 12, 2024  |  Times TBA

Location: Scianna Hall (McDonnell Auditorium and other locations)
This year's final pitch event has been upgraded to a modified "hackathon"–a series of interactive, high-energy experiences designed to help accelerate your path to success! Results will be announced during this live event.

Throughout the competition process, all ideas will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  • Problem: Have you provided clear evidence of a real, significant problem or gap in the market? 
  • People: Have you identified and clearly described the customer(s) who are affected by this Problem? 
  • Potential: Have you provided a compelling case for your idea as a potential solution? 


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The Hatchery Inspiration Lab

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118 College Dr. #5021
Hattiesburg, MS 39406

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