Entrepreneur’s Organization Celebrates its 25th Anniversary with the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards
December 15, 2011 Washington DC - The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) is a dynamic global network of more than 8,000 business owners in 40 countries. Founded in 1987 by a group of young entrepreneurs, the year 2012 marks EO’s 25th anniversary. With its transformative experiences and unparalleled peer network, EO transforms the lives of the entrepreneurs who transform the world. EO is the catalyst that enables entrepreneurs to learn and grow from each other, leading to greater business success and an enriched personal life.
EO’s non-profit sub-group, The Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA), is the premier international competition for high school, college and graduate students who have founded and are operating revenue-generating businesses. The GSEA annual competition was held on November 19th at the NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE.
“This year’s GSEA competition coincides with the 25th anniversary of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization and really symbolizes how young entrepreneurs are making their mark: creating employment, changing the world and in the winner’s case, saving lives,” said Kevin Langley, Global Chairman of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization. “Like Steve Jobs and Michael Dell in their day, EO continues to be the place where young entrepreneurs on every continent come to learn and grow their business and themselves.”
As the premier global competition for undergraduate student business owners, the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) inspire students to adopt entrepreneurial endeavors by bringing global visibility to student business owners who are innovative, profitable and socially responsible. Since 1998, the GSEA, a program founded at the John Cook School of Business at Saint Louis University, has honored outstanding students who juggle a full course load while running their own businesses.
The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) took on leadership of the GSEA in 2006 to offer student entrepreneurs access to a global network of mentors, resources and connections from the most influential community of entrepreneurs in the world. The GSEA is generously supported by major foundations, including the NYSE Euronext Foundation the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Ernst & Young and the Be Great Organization. To nominate a student entrepreneur or to get involved, go to http://www.gsea.org.
The winner of The 2011 Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year was Ludwick Marishane, founder of Headboy Industries LCC and senior at the University of Cape Town. In a competition that began with nearly 2,000 students from 42 countries, Marishane will share in the US$500,000 prize pool of cash and in-kind business services, including one year of mentorship from Redbox founder, Mike DeLazzer.
The 21-year-old “opportunity obsessed” Ludwick Marishane founded Headboy Industries in 2007 to create products that solve the world’s most difficult problems and make them available to everyone. Its flagship product, DryBath, is the world’s only bath substitute lotion for the whole body. First designed for sleepy college students too lazy to shower, its greatest application is for the millions people worldwide who have no daily access to clean water. This year, Marishane was also named one of 12 “Brightest Young Minds in the World” at the annual Google Zeitgeist event and was the youngest person ever to speak at the event. Currently in his last year at the University of Cape Town, Marishane is majoring in accounting and finance and plans to continue to develop and commercialize products that are profitable and have a global impact.
“Participating in the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards was a game-changing experience for my personal and professional growth, and winning is proof that crazy high school dreams can go on to bring about real change in the world,” said Ludwick Marishane, founder of Headboy Industries and student at the University of Cape Town. “All of the finalists in this competition work incredibly hard every day, balancing student life and their businesses. Meeting them and the distinguished entrepreneurs that made up the judges’ panel was a humbling and re-invigorating experience. I went for the competition but came back with a global board of peer advisors and lifelong mentors through the Entrepreneurs’ Organization.”
Runners Up and Honorable Mentions
Runner Up: Garrett Gee, sophomore at Brigham Young University and founder of Scan.me, providers of custom QR codes and other cutting edge software solutions that help drive online traffic. In 1999, Garrett became the youngest inductee into the Utah Top 100 Entrepreneurs and was the Guinness Book of World Records holder for Tetris, until he was dethroned 2007.
Lessons from the Edge Award: Jake Jorgovan was also named second runner up, is a Belmont University recent graduate and founder of Rabbit Hole Creative, a provider of custom-design video and production services for tours and events. Pushing the limits of video and sound technology, Rabbit Hole Creative offers all-inclusive, turnkey solutions to take events to the next level. Jorgovan majored in audio engineering and entrepreneurism.
Innovation Award: Dinesh Wadhwani, Babson senior and founder of ThinkLite LLC, provides customized, energy efficient green lighting solutions provider. Wadhwani, who is a second-time global finalist, founded ThinkLite in 2009 after learning of the lack of choice available in the green lighting industry. Dinesh is also the co-founder of three other companies including Slick Stick, Wadhsoft Inc. and Turn the Campus.
Social Impact Award: Matias Daniel Doublier is the founder of Electryalg and student at Colegio Marianista in Argentina. Electryalg creates custom, algae-based green energy solutions, turning algae into energy to provide low cost, environmentally sustainable electricity to homes, farms and other areas of Argentina that do not have or cannot afford traditional electricity solutions.
This year’s GSEA high school winner is Dino Zaharakis, founder of zlabs and creator of the DZDock, a one-size-fits-all dock for electronic devices. Dino designed the product when he was just 11 years old in his home in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, after his father challenged him to create an iPod stand and an e-commerce Web site to sell it, to get his own cell phone.
Mike Wahl, the GSEA graduate winner, is a Ph.D. candidate at Memorial University of Newfoundland in the Faculty of Medicine and the founder of Definitions Wellness Safety Services and Definitions Fitness and Lifestyle Studio. Definitions provides science-based, fitness training for individuals, as well as major industrial and corporate clients in Canada and the United States at worksites – whether an offshore oil drilling site or an office settings – to improve the wellness and safety culture of the organization.
As a featured event of Global Entrepreneurship Week, the GSEA Global Finals had 30 finalists competing more than eight hours of presentations and judges’ questions at the New York Stock Exchange – the first time the Global Finals has been held in New York City. For more information on the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards, visit www.GSEA.org
About The Entrepreneurs Organization
The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) – for entrepreneurs only – is a dynamic global network of more than 8,000 business owners in 40 countries. Founded in 1987 by a group of young entrepreneurs, EO is the catalyst that enables entrepreneurs to learn and grow from each other, leading to greater business success and an enriched personal life. Membership in one of EO’s 120 chapters is by invitation only; the average member is 41 years old with annual revenues of US$17.3 million. For more information on EO, visit www.eonetwork.org or call +1.703.519.6700.
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