2018 Student Entrepreneur Program Recap



The 2018 SEP cohort included an incredible group of new prospective female founders and 5 SEP alumnae from past years. The program was hosted June 17–22 in Detroit, Michigan, where students participated in tailored entrepreneur curriculum, received one-on-one mentoring from some of the most successful Women Owned Businesses and America’s largest Fortune 500 companies, and had the opportunity to participate in a live pitch competition awarding $32,000 at WBENC’s National Conference & Business Fair

The 2018 curriculum covered the following topics:

  • Entrepreneurship/Small Business What does it all mean?

  • Design Thinking

  • Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership

  • Entrepreneurship and Opportunity

  • Marketing for Entrepreneurs

  • Entrepreneurial Finance

  • Managing a Growing Business

  • Guest Speakers Series

WBENC SEP 2018 Impact

SEP 2018 included 26 participants:

  • 21 students from 21 colleges and universities across the United States and 5 SEP Alumna who still own and lead their companies returning to serve as peer advisors to our 2018 cohort.

  • 18 WBENC Corporate Member Mentors

  • 21 WBE Mentors

21 Students Participated in the EY Pitch Competition

6 Winners (1st Place $10,000, 2nd Place $6,000, 3rd – 6th Place $4,000). (Read more about the Pitch Competition winners in the WBENC blog, or click here to view previous Pitch Competition Winners.)

1st Place:  Danya Sherman, Junior, George Washington University

Danya is the Founder of KnoNap a safety company which creates napkins that can detect for rape drug presence.

2nd Place: Lauren Cornell, PhD Candidate, UT Health Science Center

Lauren Co-Founded NovoThelium in 2015, a company focused on improving nipple reconstruction for women who have undergone mastectomy.

3rd Place: Lisa Guerrera, Masters Student, Manhattan College

Lisa is the CEO and Co-Founder of Skinno, an app that deciphers skincare ingredients  helping people pick the right products.

4th Place: Audrey Awasom, Senior, University of Maryland College Park

Audrey is the Founder and CEO of Noble Uprising, a non-profit organization that empowers homeless women with career resources and employment.

5th Place: Whitney Jones, MBA Candidate, Columbia College

Whitney started Liv once realizing affordable, quality garments that keeps up with your calendar didn’t exist.

6th Place: Jenny Leung, MBA Candidate, University of California Los Angeles

Jenny Leung is the Founder of BellaNove to address career women and soon-to-be-moms need for maternity wear.

16 speakers leading workshops and sharing insights on:

Design Thinking, Entrepreneurship & Opportunity, Marketing for Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurial Finance, Access to Capital, Growth, Women’s Leadership, and Supply Chain among other topics. 

Detroit StartUp Week hosted WBENC SEP for off-site and experiential learning visiting with 8 local companies including; Bamboo Detroit, Atwell, Hessenaur & Associates, Benkari Mechanical LLC, The Lip Bar, Purple Squirrel Advisors, Detroit Vegan Soul.

Corporate & WBE Mentors

Mentors assisted students in their pitch competition preparation and support students as they begin to launch their business ventures.

2018 Corporate Mentors:

  • Adient

  • Allstate Insurance Co.

  • Bristol-Myers Squibb

  • Ericsson

  • EY

  • FedEx

  • JCPenney

  • Johnson & Johnson

  • Macy's

  • Medtronic

  • Merck & Co., Inc.

  • Office Depot

  • PepsiCo.

  • Procter & Gamble

  • Shell Oil Company

  • Toyota

  • USPS

  • Walmart

2018 WBE Mentors

  • Actuated Medical

  • Aztec World

  • Broadleaf Results, Inc.

  • CM Productions, Inc.

  • Corporate Fitness Works

  • CRC Group Inc.

  • Elite Roofing Services, Inc.

  • Innolect Inc.

  • KNow Research LLC

  • Limb Design

  • LMK Clinical Research Consulting

  • Mac Arthur Corporation

  • Palco Telecom Service, Inc.

  • Rangam Consultants Inc.

  • SeeHerWork

  • Social Forces

  • Soft Stuff Distibutors

  • Technology Concepts Group International

  • The DW Group

  • Timber Industries, LLC

  • Welcome Events


Participating Universities
& Colleges

Click here to view a list of all participating colleges and universities.

Read more about the 2018 SEP program: 

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