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Inaugural BIG EXPO Showcases Entrepreneurship & Innovation 

Georgia Southern University’s Business Innovation Group (BIG) in partnership with the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority and The Creative Coast will host the inaugural BIG Expo for Entrepreneurship & Innovation on Sept. 19 from 5 to 8 p.m. at “The Alley,” located at 58 E. Main Street in downtown Statesboro, Georgia. 

The event aims to provide a platform for networking, exchanging ideas and learning from subject matter experts. The primarily outdoor event will include a showcase of diverse business ideas, fast-pitch sessions from local entrepreneurs and students, and the opportunity to learn what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur by connecting with like-minded professionals. 

Attendees will hear from resource providers, learn about new tools to drive business revenue and get inspired by individuals who have already succeeded in business.  

The BIG Expo will also be educational for those who want to turn their dreams into reality by launching a new business or side hustle. The BIG Idea Accelerator will be hosted by The Creative Coast and run from 6 to 8 p.m. 

“The BIG Idea Accelerator is an opportunity for entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs to validate their business ideas with direct mentorship from experienced founders, intensive market viability research, the best resources for guidance, and serious accountability and honest feedback from expert business leaders,” said Jen Bonnet, executive director for The Creative Coast. 

Expert facilitators will help individuals vet their visions and explore next steps for launching or growing a business. 

“Since 2014, BIG has been an active part of the entrepreneurial fabric in south Georgia,” said Dominique Halaby, DPA, associate provost for Innovation and Commercialization for Georgia Southern. “The BIG Expo affords us an opportunity to showcase some amazing entrepreneurial talent in our area, learn from each other’s success and celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit that makes our region such a great place to start a business.” 

In addition to existing business clients, BIG has invited the Eagle Entrepreneurs, a student organization, to participate in the Fast Pitch sessions, allowing the Parker College of Business students to present their ideas to a live audience. 

“We look forward to the opportunity to encourage our students to boldly pitch their ideas in front of a live audience for our friends at BIG,” said Curtis Sproul, Ph.D., associate professor of management and faculty advisor for the Eagle Entrepreneurs. “The more our students have a chance to build their confidence, the more equipped they become for the real world of pitching investors.”  

Georgia Southern’s BIG invites local area entrepreneurs, business owners, investors, alumni and friends to join the festivities at no cost, although an RSVP is requested. For sponsorship information, please contact Catherine Blake at or 770-883-1117. 


The Business Innovation Group (BIG) at Georgia Southern University works to build an ecosystem throughout the State of Georgia to help entrepreneurs create, incubate and accelerate their for-profit business enterprises. BIG works to facilitate access to university resources, to create opportunities for student experiential learning, and to foster an environment that supports a growth mindset throughout the state.

As a unit of the Office of Research at Georgia Southern, BIG is committed to developing and deploying new technological platforms, innovative programs, quality services and educational events to help meet the needs of area businesses, entrepreneurs and innovators seeking to expand business operations and/or launch new business enterprises, products and services. For more information visit


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