Mars Hill University To Host Case Competition for Budding High School Entrepreneurs

Local high school students will have the opportunity to flex their entrepreneurial thinking muscles during an upcoming competition at Mars Hill University. The Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Case Competition will bring together high school juniors and seniors from across the region to present business solutions to a case study. The competition will be held Saturday, September 30, 2023, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

James Heinl, executive director of the entrepreneurial leadership program and an assistant professor of business, says, “We are thrilled to launch our high school case competition, offering not just cash prizes, but an invaluable opportunity for our region’s budding entrepreneurs. This initiative extends beyond monetary incentive—it’s a platform for experiential learning, networking, and fostering the innovative spirit of the next generation.”

Participants will employ key business skills such as research, analysis, presentation, and creativity as they compete to develop the best solution to a business case. They will work in teams of one to five students, and their presentations will be judged by a panel of judges. The judges will be industry professionals, professors, or other business leaders with knowledge and experience in new business startups. A successful business plan presentation will demonstrate clarity, viability, completeness, and attention to detail.

The competition will award cash prizes to the top teams and their schools. The first-place team will receive $2500 and their school will receive $1000. Second place will receive a $1500 team award and $750 school award. Third place will receive $500 for the team and $500 for the school. All participants will receive a Certificate of Participation and Mars Hill University swag.

“This is just the start of our case competition series,” said Heinl. “The series will include community college student competitions and college student competitions next year. This aligns with the CEL’s mission to provide RWS (Real World Skills) to our students and our community.”

More information and online registration are available here.

The competition is sponsored by MHU’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. The program includes an academic minor and a concentration in the business administration major. It aims to educate a new, diverse generation of business leaders and to make business ownership a more reachable goal for the students involved, including, in particular, people of color and females.

“The Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership is at the crossroads of academia and real-world business challenges,” said Heinl. “We’re committed to shaping future entrepreneurial leaders by immersing them in experiences that matter.”