BIG Things Happening in Dallas, Including the Selection of the Best Student Entrepreneur in the U.S.

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We’re just a couple weeks away from WBENC’s Summit & Salute in Dallas, and BIG things are already happening as the “Big D” gets ready to host the leading women’s business development organization.

WBENC team member Andrew Gaeckle recently visited Dallas to judge the U.S. Nationals of the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards, hosted by the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO GSEA). EO GSEA and WBENC’s Student Entrepreneur Program (SEP) have teamed up for the last two years to help build and support the next generation of women entrepreneurs. This year, SEP alum Rose Wong competed at U.S. Nationals as well.

For the competition, GSEA brought together 26 students from across the country for a one-day event to compete for seed capital and the chance to represent the U.S. at the Global Finals this April in Toronto. In the morning, students were divided into several rooms pitching for five spots in the final round. WBENC’s Andrew Gaeckle judged alongside business leaders, entrepreneurs and other ecosystem builders.

 Andrew Gaeckle with SEP alum Rose Wong.

Andrew Gaeckle with SEP alum Rose Wong.

“Judging these students was hard work,” he says. “Their passion and innovative approaches were so exciting -- our future is bright!”

Mackenzie Drazan, CEO of MiResources, was selected from the room for one of the coveted spots in the final round. She was one of three women in the finals. In the afternoon, the finals competition showcased the tenacious spirit and passion of five amazing student entrepreneurs, who brought forward some incredible ideas and business opportunities. 

 Danya Sherman, US National Winner

Danya Sherman, US National Winner

“I am always inspired by the ingenuity and innovation of each of our student competitors,” says Marisa White, program manager of GSEA.

In the end, Danya Sherman, owner of KnoNap LLC, a discreet, disposable device portrayed as a napkin that detects selected dangerous chemicals within a beverage, won the judges over. Danya was awarded $10,000 and will advance to the EO GSEA Global Finals representing the U.S. alongside 50+ other student entrepreneurs from across the globe. We are happy to announce that Danya will also be joining WBENC for the 2018 Student Entrepreneur Program in Detroit this June!

We had the chance to catch up with Danya after the competition:

“I’m an entrepreneur passionate about combining human rights and technology innovation to create lasting, sustainable, social change,” she says. “At the George Washington University, my studies focus on security policy and entrepreneurship.”

Danya adds that she is “extremely excited and humbled to be representing America at the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards and to be a member of the 2018 Student Entrepreneur Program.”

Learn more about the amazing students participating in WBENC’s Student Entrepreneur Program and how you can be a part of building the next generation of women entrepreneurs.




Posted on February 23, 2018 and filed under NextGen, SEP, WBENC Staff.