Samford University’s Brock School of Business hosted the regional round of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) 2024 Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA). Student-athlete Titus Moore, a 2023 marketing graduate and current MBA student, won a $2,000 prize after presenting his business, Moore’s All-Natural Granola Bars. Moore is a resident in the Samford Startup student business incubator program and has been growing his business with the support of the program.
The EO GSEA started in 1998 and Samford has been hosting the Birmingham region event for the last seven years. EO is the only global network exclusively for entrepreneurs whose mission is to help entrepreneurs grow through peer-to-peer learning, entrepreneurial experiences and events, and connections to expert entrepreneurs worldwide.
Students who are interested in applying must complete an online questionnaire and an EO committee reviews the submissions before selecting the finalists to formally present their businesses in person. Birmingham EO arranges for judges from their partnership network to score these finalists’ pitches. Judges listen to each student entrepreneur’s presentation and have time for questions and answers before scoring. The EO chapter oversees tallying all the scores and awarding the winner.
By winning the GSEA regional competition, Moore received $2,000 to use as capital, and one-on-one coaching sessions from the organization’s network of business professionals including financial, legal, accounting, digital marketing and social media experts. Moore commented on his recent win and said, “I am extremely thankful to be given the opportunity to share the vision of ‘Moore's’. Having the chance to compete with another group of the most gifted student entrepreneurs in the country is an experience I am really looking forward to. I am also very grateful for the environment Brock School of Business has provided me to grow and be the best entrepreneur I can be." Moore is planning to launch his company in February 2024 and people will be able to try his new products.
The annual EO GSEA competition is open to any current student entrepreneur from any institution or major. Four other Samford students also pitched their businesses in the regional competition—junior marketing major Mallory Matthews, owner of Mementos by Mallory; Samantha Wilkerson, owner of Heart to Hand; senior management major Grace Gamboa, owner of Reclamation; and senior journalism and mass communications major Maggie Corbitt, owner of Corbitt & Co. Lakeside Apparel and Gear LLC. Additionally, Lipscomb University student Anna Belle Skidmore, owner of Granola’d, traveled to Samford’s campus to participate.
Matthew Mazzei, interim chair of the entrepreneurship, management and marketing department and faculty mentor for the Samford Startup program, said, “We are always excited to host and partner with our friends in the Birmingham chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization. Their members are incredibly supportive of student entrepreneurship, and always find time to encourage our Samford Startup cohort. I am thrilled for Titus that they saw his vision and the remarkable progress he has made in a short time in launching Moore’s All-Natural Granola Bars. With the many, many hours he has poured into this venture, he is very deserving of this award. We’re all excited to see what’s next as he continues to grow his company. I thought all this year’s finalists were outstanding, and it is always inspirational to watch our students share their entrepreneurial passions and dreams.”
Brock School of Business support student entrepreneurs through the Samford Startup student incubator, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary and highlighted at a national conference for entrepreneurship education. The Samford Startup program provides direct mentoring, networking opportunities, physical workspace and limited financial support. Next year, a new Innovation Lab on the first floor of Cooney Hall, which will be the new home for the Samford Startup program, will open, thanks to the support of the university’s Innovation Fund.
Applications for the 2024-2025 Samford Startup cohort open after Spring Break and will remain open until March 31, 2024.