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Merrill Mason Judges Business Plans for the 16th Annual Duke Start-Up Challenge

December 19, 2014

Raleigh, N.C. - Merrill Mason, Partner at Smith Anderson and head of the firm’s Start-Ups practice, served as a judge for the third round of the 16th Annual Duke Start-up Challenge (DSC), the Business Plan Competition. Merrill reviewed 12 business plans presented by Duke student teams and provided them with feedback on how they might enhance their plans.

The DSC is an entrepreneurship competition followed by an accelerator program that runs the course of the academic year. The competition includes four rounds: an Elevator Pitch Competition that includes idea summaries; an Executive Summary Competition; a Business Plan Competition; and the Grand Finale.  The teams, comprised of students of Duke University, receive feedback at every phase of the competition by a panel of judges, to help them progress to the next stages of the competition and beyond. For more information on the Duke Start-Up Challenge, please visit

About Merrill Mason

Merrill Mason leads Smith Anderson’s Start-Ups practice group and has extensive experience representing technology and life sciences companies. He is passionate about working with developing entrepreneurs, emerging businesses and law students and has taught as an adjunct instructor at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and the University of North Carolina School of Law. For more information on Merrill, please visit his bio online at

About Smith Anderson

Since our founding in 1912, Smith Anderson has grown to more than 120 attorneys and is the largest law firm headquartered in North Carolina’s Research Triangle area. We serve clients ranging in size from large public companies to emerging growth businesses, providing a full range of legal services to assist our clients in accomplishing their goals. The knowledge and experience of our attorneys make us well-positioned to handle the litigation and business matters that our clients face. For more information, please visit

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