Merrill Mason and Mike Saber Selected as Judges for the Duke University "Start-Up Challenge"

For the second consecutive year, Smith Anderson partners Merrill Mason and Mike Saber were selected to judge the Duke "Start-Up Challenge."

The Duke Start-Up Challenge provides an opportunity for Duke University students to learn how to formulate a viable business concept. In this three-phase, six-month competition, teams develop plans that encompass all aspects of a business including concept, technology, marketing, management, market research, financials and execution. The top 5 finalists advance to the third and final phase. Judges selected for their business knowledge provide constructive feedback to the competitors throughout the entire competition and determine the teams that advance and eventually win. Over $100,000 is awarded in prize money.

This 8th annual event will culminate in an awards ceremony on April 14th. Upcoming competition events include:

  • February 8th - A workshop on "How to Raise Money"
  • February 9th - Full business plans from competitors due
  • March 26th - A workshop on "Disrupting the Marketplace"
  • March 28th - Revised business plans from competitors due
  • April 14th - Panel presentations, trade show and awards ceremony

Mr. Mason and Mr. Saber both practice corporate and securities law. Mr. Mason represents emerging and entrepreneurial companies and focuses his practice on venture capital; securities; mergers and acquisitions; intellectual property; and general corporate matters. Mr. Saber focuses his practice on the formation, financing and general representation of public and private growth and technology companies and closely held businesses. Combined, they have over 35 years experience practicing corporate law.

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