MSU Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach to host Startup Summit grand finale, E-Center expansion grand opening

Contact: Aspen Harris

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach is hosting the grand opening of its E-Center expansion on April 12 with keynote speakers from top U.S. brand Barefoot Wine.

Free and open to the public, the event coincides with the conclusion of the annual MSU Startup Summit and will be held 1-5 p.m. in McCool Hall’s Leo Seal Jr. Family Business Atrium.

Consisting of eight categories for MSU students and one category for all Mississippi residents, the CEO’s Startup Summit gives these individuals the opportunity to pitch their newly formed business and win cash prizes to jumpstart their company’s growth. Judged by industry-respected leaders from companies across the region, the event awards $40,000 over the span of five days.

Visit to learn more about the summit.

The Friday event’s schedule is as follows:

1-1:30 p.m.: Ribbon cutting and dedication of E-Center expansion. This ceremony officially opens the 4,000-square-foot E-Center, designed to assist students, faculty and community members in launching or expanding their business ventures.

1:30-2:30 p.m.: Keynote from Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey, founders of Barefoot Wine. Launched in 1985, Barefoot Wine is one of the top wine brands in the U.S. and one of the most recognizable globally. Since the sale of the company to E & J Gallo in 2005, founders Houlihan and Harvey have turned to entrepreneurship consultation and coaching. They are co-authors of The New York Times best-selling book “The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand” and launched the Barefoot Startup movement, which encourages new businesses to adopt bootstrapping tenets and sales-driven principles and tactics.

2:30-3:30 p.m.: Startup Summit’s BankTEL Grand Finale Competition. This contest features the winners of the five main Startup Summit divisions and will award one a grand prize of $7,000.

3:30-4:30 p.m.: Closing reception and awards ceremony. This ceremony and reception celebrates MSU’s entrepreneurial spirit.

Part of MSU’s College of Business, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach is online at

For more information on MSU’s College of Business, visit

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