The Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization

Last week Andrew Gaeckle, WBENC’s Director of Strategic Planning represented WBENC at the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization [CEO] National Conference in Tampa, FL at the Tampa Convention Center. This was WBENC’s first engagement with CEO, a premier entrepreneurship network with chapters on university campuses across North America and beyond. CEO currently supports entrepreneurship for over 200 chapters in over 43 states and works to inform, support and inspire college students to be entrepreneurial and seek opportunity through enterprise creation.

The National Conference, held Oct 27th – 29th, hosted 700+ students from nearly 100 different colleges and universities as well faculty advisors, community representatives, entrepreneurs and other national and regional attendees. The two day conference hosted general and breakout sessions, networking opportunities, a pitch competition, and a tour of the newly constructed University of Tampa Lowth Entrepreneurship Center.

Keynotes and breakout sessions included business leaders, CEOs, and entrepreneur advocates. The conference provided a great opportunity to connect with universities and students to support the continued growth and success of the WBENC Student Entrepreneur Program.

A few highlights of some of the amazing women entrepreneurs represented include:


Sharon Bui co-founder and CEO of Frill Clothing shared her personal story of starting a clothing company in college, its tremendous growth through social media and being featured on Shark Tank and Beyond the Tank.


Breakout Sessions:

“Marketing in the Age of Snapchat: How the Young Social Networks are Changing the Rules of Engagement” led by Mana Ionescu, Founder and President of Lightspan Digital was standing room only.

Jacqueline Darna Founder, CEO & Medical Inventor of No Mo Nausea who is currently in the process of becoming a certified WBE led a great session on “Overcoming Adversity to Create a Thriving Business” and talked about growing to seven figure global company in her first 24 months.

Pitch Competition:

McCalley Cunningham from Texas A&M University, co-founder of Motley Tool Co. came in second place of the two day pitch competition among 60+ students. Because #womenentrepreneurs ROCK!

More information about the CEO National Conference and the full conference agenda can be found here.

Know a budding collegiate entrepreneur? Or interested in the WBENC SEP program? Read more about last year’s Pitch Competitions here. Applications for 2017’s class are now open.




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Posted on November 4, 2016 .