EO WNY Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA)
EO WNY Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA)

EO WNY Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA)

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Dig Buffalo

640 Ellicott St.

Buffalo, NY 14203

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The Entrepreneurs’ Organization’s Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) is the premier global competition for student entrepreneurs who actively run a business. EO GSEA nominees compete in qualifying competitions for the chance to advance to the Global Finals, held in May 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand. With more than 1,700 competitors from more than 30 countries, EO GSEA is an exclusive opportunity for student entrepreneurs to make connections, find resources, and grow their businesses! Student applications are due January 5, 2017.

Event Details (Times subject to change)

4:00 p.m. Student Briefing Time:

5:00 p.m. hors d’oeuvres

5:30 p.m. Competition Begins

On-Site EO/GSEA Contact Person: David Robinson (716) 430-2216


The core criteria are that the applicant must:

  1. Be enrolled in a university/college as an undergraduate student at the time of their application.
  2. Have been operating the business for at least six months with revenue criteria of US $500 or US $1,000 investment/backing.


  • Cash prize earnings from prior competitions will be honored as revenue and/or investment backing
  • The student can be enrolled part-time at a university/college; full-time enrollment is not a requirement.
  • The student can graduate before the competition takes place as long as he/she is enrolled upon application submission.
  • There is no age criterion to participate.
  • The student must be an “undergraduate” student as defined by the level of collegiate education following secondary/high school.
  • Student entrepreneurs must submit a signed letter from an accountant verifying business revenues upon request.


Apply online at www.eonetwork.org/EO-GSEA/ (Select USA-Western New York) by January 5, 2017

Finalist Selection

Student applications will be reviewed by a panel of EO members, and up to six finalists will be selected. Selections will be based on:

  1. Completeness of the application
  2. The student’s ability to overcome obstacles
  3. Clarity of the mission and vision
  4. Leadership
  5. Innovation

Finalists will be notified by phone on January 6th. Upon notification, each finalist will be assigned mentor(s) from EO to help prepare for the live presentations on January 6th.

Competition Guide

Dress Code: Come dressed in your business attire for the presentation, or in a way that reflects your brand.

Presentation Format: Please note that only the finalist can take part in the presentation. Other individuals may help with setup and observe your presentation; however, these individuals are not permitted to present; nor included in the award package.

Time Allotment: Each competitor will have a thirty (30) minute time block for the verbal / audio / visual presentation, timed precisely as follows:

  • You will be formally introduced to the judges.
  • Immediately following the introduction you will have two (2) minutes to distribute written reports for judges to review prior to your presentation and to set up your equipment (boot computers, check lighting, sound, etc...).
  • You will have twelve (12) minutes to give your verbal / audio / visual presentation
  • There will be a mandatory ten (10) minute question and answer period for the judges.
  • The judges then have four (4) minutes to fill in their evaluation forms and provide written feedback to the presenting student
  • Anyone may assist you with the set up or operation of A/V equipment including laptop computers; however, only the competitor may participate in the presentation and answer questions from judges.

Written Report

The written report outlines all aspects of your business, and explains how it has met the judging criteria. Written reports are limited to a total of four printed 8 ½ x 11” pages – preferably two pages printed front and back or one 11 x 17”, front and back. If a cover page is used it will be counted as one of the four pages. (Note: These written reports will be handed by you to the judges, who have completed a confidentiality agreement.)

*** NOTE: Written reports larger than the dimensions outlined may be withheld from judges and not considered as part of the presentation. ***

Presentation Content

You should be prepared to answer questions about any part of your presentation or written report during the question and answer period with the judges. However, you may refuse to answer confidential or proprietary information without penalty.

Audio Visual Equipment

The following equipment will be provided for your use in the presentation room:

  • LCD projector
  • Screen
  • Table
  • Podium

Please plan on bringing your own laptop computer. Also, if you plan on using a Macbook, you will need:

  • Bring your own HDMI adapter to hook your computer up to the projector. And,
  • Bring your own slide deck advancer with you.

Competition Schedule

The GSEA competitors will present their business to a panel of judges on January 19, 2016. There will be one round of presentations, with the order of presenters drawn randomly. We will confirm your presentation time the day before the competition event.

Judging Criteria

Evaluation of the Entrepreneur:

  1. Does the student demonstrate the tenacious spirit needed to succeed as an entrepreneur? Has he/she encountered challenges, overcome them, and learned from mistakes?

  2. Is the student effectively integrating the two roles of life as a student AND a business owner?

  3. EO Core Value #1 – Boldly Go – Is the student taking smart risks and evolving to meet changing circumstances?

  4. EO Core Value #2 – Thirst for Learning – Is the student seeking out expert advice and wisdom, and proactively growing their own knowledge? Are they naturally curious?

  5. EO Core Value #3 – Make a Mark – Is the student innovating, planning for the future and distingusihing him/herself from the field? IS he/she taking a long view rather than quick wins?

  6. EO Core Value #4 – Trust and Respect – Does the student hold him/herself to a high standard of integrity in all aspects life and business? Does he/she strive to do the right thing even when it’s hard?

  7. EO Core Value #5 – Cool - Does the student have a unique personal identity that he/she brings to the business? Is he/she living their values and writing their own story?

Evaluation of the Business:

  1. Has the student demonstrated a knowledge of strong business fundamentals and shown that they are in practice in the business? Has he/she provided information relating to the growth, revenue and profit of the business?

  2. Has the student effectively communicated the business and its vision

  3. Does the business show strong potential for future growth?


1st Place - $1,500 cash and other donations, plus all-expense paid trip to Kansas City, MO for the US Finals (March 6-7, 2017)

2nd Place - $500 cash and other donations

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Dig Buffalo

640 Ellicott St.

Buffalo, NY 14203

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