Everything You Need to Know About EO's Global Student Entrepreneur Awards

GSEA Winner Evan Sledge

The Entrepreneurs' Organization’s student competition gears up for its second year.

The Fort Worth chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization is prepping for its second annual Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA). Whether you’re an EO member looking to participate, a local company looking to help, or a hopeful student entrepreneur with a burgeoning business idea, here’s everything you need to know.

What’s Happening

The competition, geared toward undergraduate and graduate students, takes place Nov. 7 (location not yet finalized). The deadline for student entrepreneurs to apply is Oct. 1.

Prior to the event, student entrepreneurs will connect with an EO member, who will serve as their mentor. On competition day, contestants will present to judges for the chance to earn prizes like cash or professional services. The winner of the Fort Worth competition will have the opportunity to move onto the national competition in Denver, and the winner of the national competition will compete in the global contest in Macau, China.

What They’re Looking For

While GSEA has similarities to ABC’s “Shark Tank,” the competition focuses less on the business plan and product and more on the person behind it — that is, the candidate who best exhibits EO’s core values:

• Boldly Go: A person who takes risks and isn’t afraid of failure.

• Thirst for Learning: A willingness to gain knowledge.

• Mark a Mark: A desire to make a difference and leave a positive legacy.

• Trust and Respect: A dedication to maintaining integrity.

• Cool: A forward-thinker who’s committed to innovation.

Who Won Last Year

Evan Sledge (a junior at TCU at the time) won last year for his company, Sledge Outfitters, which offers guide services for hunting and fishing activities. The company began in Granbury and now operates in Central Texas and Southcentral Alaska.

“GSEA is awesome,” Sledge says. “I needed people to talk with that like to dream big. After competing in GSEA, I was surrounded by like-minded people looking to make drastic improvements in their industries.”

Two Ways to Help

• Be a judge/mentor. Members of EO can get involved by serving as competition judges or mentors to the competitors.

• Provide a prize package. Local companies can also get involved by contributing to the prize package. Prizes can range from office space to marketing and advertising services.

For more information, contact competition chair (and Kisabeth Furniture president) Keith Webster at [email protected].