Kostas Sousoulas, a student at Quinnipiac University, has won Connecticut’s first-ever Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA), regional competition, hosted by the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO). Kostas will represent Connecticut at the National Competition in Kansas City, MO on March 6, 2017.
Kostas was one of two finalists selected to compete in early November for statewide honors, during which student entrepreneurs presented their businesses, leadership skills and entrepreneurial practices to a judging panel of local entrepreneurs and EO members.
“I am beyond humbled and honored to have been chosen to represent my state and my company to compete in the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards,” said Sousoulas. “Passion, hard work and perseverance truly do pay off!”
Sousoulas’ business, Yimello Smoothies, creates all-natural, gourmet, non-GMO smoothies. The company’s mission is to make it easy and convenient for consumers to be health-conscious. For his win, Sousoulas received a cash prize of $500, plus an all-expenses-paid trip to the National Competition in Kansas City—where a winner will be selected to represent the United States in the 2017 global finals in Frankfurt, Germany.
“Due to the prestige of this award, I firmly believe that many new opportunities for my company will present themselves,” Sousoulas added. “This win allows our product to have tremendous exposure to the marketplace, and gives us the opportunity to share our vision with the great people at the Entrepreneurs’ Organization.”
The GSEA competition require that applicants be actively enrolled as an undergraduate at a recognized college or university, and also are primarily responsible for the operation of a revenue-generating business for at least six months prior to competition.
Their businesses must be structured as for-profit or social enterprise and must have generated at least $500 in revenue or received $1,000 in investments at the time of application.
In less than 20 years, the student program has become one of the largest and fastest-growing global competitions in terms of school partners and student participants.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Connecticut chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization and all of our Connecticut-based members, I’d like to congratulate our first place winner, Kostas Sousoulas, and our runner-up Devane Coke,” said Syd Kain, GSEA chair of EO Connecticut and founder and President of Sovereign Home Health.
“Both Kostas and Devane did a tremendous job presenting their businesses to our panel of judges. I was so impressed at how they successfully manage a full course load as college students, while also creating and managing their growing businesses. It was refreshing to meet and work with a couple outstanding young entrepreneurs and I look forward to watching their continued success.”
The Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) is the premier global competition for students who own and operate a for-profit and/or social enterprise structured business while attending college of university. Nominees compete against their peers from around the world in a series of local and/or national competitions in hopes to qualify for GSEA Finals. Founded in 1998 by Saint Louis University, GSEA is now an Entrepreneurs’ Organization program. Visit www.gsea.org for more information.
About Entrepreneurs’ Organization
The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) is a global business network of more than 12,000 business owners in more than 160 chapters and 50 countries. Founded in 1987 by a group of young entrepreneurs, EO enables small and large business owners to learn from each other, leading to greater business success and an enriched personal life. The organization’s vision is to build the world’s most influential community of entrepreneurs, which aligns with its mission of supporting entrepreneurial education and engaging entrepreneurs to learn and grow. Learn more at www.eonetwork.org.