ALEXANDRIA, VA--(Marketwired - Apr 17, 2015) - The Entrepreneurs' Organization's (EO) Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA), the premier global competition honoring the top student entrepreneurs who have founded and are running revenue-generating businesses, named Steinar Henskes, CEO of Bird Control Group from the Netherlands, as Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year. The award gala took place this evening at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.
Henskes, a 24-year-old Vrije Universiteit student, competed against a field of 2,000 students from 38 countries through a series of national and regional competitions. Tonight he received $20,000 from EO to help Henskes successfully continue on his entrepreneurial journey, and access to the EO's global network of 10,000+ business owners worldwide.
Henskes started Bird Control Group to provide solutions to keep birds at a safe distance from commercial activities using animal-safe lasers. Founded in 2012, the company operates in 52 countries around the globe including major airports like Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and London Airport. The products are recognized by the World Wildlife Fund for innovation, effectiveness and animal friendliness. The Bird Control Group is part of Yes!Delft, the incubator program of the Technical University Delft, The Netherlands.
"What an unbelievable journey to not only start a business as a student, but to win the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards, it's a dream come true," said Steinar Henskes, CEO of Bird Control Group. "Being part of the global EO family means that I have access to 10,000 members and a network of entrepreneurs that will help me lead Bird Control Group for years to come. I'm grateful, excited and a little overwhelmed with it all."
The GSEA is not just a competition; it helps students grow their businesses and succeed in their countries, as well as learn from experienced entrepreneurs. The program focuses on mentorship, learning, support and recognition for the hard work that comes with student entrepreneurship.
"The foundation of this program is to support the next generation of entrepreneurs and this year we saw some amazing competitors with innovative businesses. These student business owners remind us that entrepreneurship has no age limit. They innovate, create jobs, and impact their communities all while attending school full-time," said Annush Ramasamy, GSEA committee chairman. "Steinar is a true example of the future of youth entrepreneurship and we know he will take his business to new levels in the years to come."
GSEA 2015 WINNERS & HONOREES
First Runner Up: Alex MacLean, CEO, East Coast Lifestyle. A student at Acadia University (Canada), MacLean started the clothing brand in 2013 with a dedication to representing the East Coast lifestyle. To date, 60 NHL players, celebrities and stores from Nova Scotia to Florida embrace the East Coast Lifestyle brand.
Second Runner Up: Scott Munguía, CEO, BioFase, was biochemical engineer at ITESM Campus Monterrey (Mexico) when he discovered and patented the process to turn discarded avocado seeds into bioplastics. BioFase's technology is considered among the top five bioplastic innovations in the world, with a new plant set to open in October 2015.
Social Impact Award: Wangechi Mwangi, CEO of Valuraha, Strathmore University (Kenya), was given the Social Impact Award, for leveraging her business to improve her community and the world at-large. The idea for Valuraha was created to open up access to financing, financial education and trading competence in Kenya and Africa using its virtual trading platform.
Innovation Award: Kim Ju Yoon, CEO of Dot, University of Washington (Korea), received the Innovation Award for improving the marketplace, creating new markets, and innovating new or existing products. Dot manufactures a braille watch unlike any other.
Lessons from the Edge Award: Kaeya Majmundar, CEO of BZ Box, Emory University (USA), won the Lessons from the Edge Award for actively anticipating changing markets and overcoming obstacles. At 21, Kaeya took her patented BZ Box product concept to ABC's Shark Tank and received a major investment for her origami-inspired, reusable, collapsible moving boxes.
2015 GSEA High School Winner: Yasmeen Haider is the 17-year-old president and founder of Cake Pop Place (USA), a community-focused, artisan cake pop business she started four years ago. She is a senior at the Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, Maryland.
2015 GSEA Graduate School Winner: Zach Wolff, co-Founder and CEO of Exigence Technologies Inc. (Canada) is an Asper MBA student and entrepreneur. His business commercializes antimicrobial technologies to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and the increasing resistance to antibiotics.
EO was founded in 1987 with the mission to build a better entrepreneur. It is a global network with roughly 10,000 members and 147 chapters in 48 countries. EO has been running the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards competition since 2006. This year's supporters include 1776, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Benson Kearley IFG, Thomas Franchise Solutions LTD., DC Central Kitchen, LandSolutions, and Strategic Group.
About the Entrepreneurs' Organization's Global Student Entrepreneur Awards
As the premier global competition for high school, undergraduate and graduate students, the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) represents more than 2,000 of the prominent student entrepreneurs from more than 38 countries. Built on a mission to inspire students to start and grow entrepreneurial ventures, GSEA brings global visibility to pioneering student business owners. Since 1998, the GSEA, a program founded at the John Cook School of Business at Saint Louis University, has honored outstanding students who simultaneously attend university full-time 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. To nominate a student entrepreneur or to get involved, go to GSEA. Then join the conversation on Facebook and follow GSEA on Twitter at @EO_GSEA.
About the Entrepreneurs' Organization
The Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) is a global, peer-to-peer network of more than 10,000 influential business owners with 147 chapters in 48 countries. Founded in 1987, EO is the catalyst that enables leading entrepreneurs to learn and grow, leading to greater success in business and beyond. For more information, visit www.eonetwork.org.