Calling All Student Entrepreneurs
October 01, 2013
Calling All Student Entrepreneurs
Got what it takes to be the next big thing in business?
If you’re at school or uni and have your own business here’s the opportunity to find out whether or not you’ve got what it takes to be New Zealand’s next Victoria Ransom or Sam Morgan.
The Entrepreneurs Organisation of New Zealand is providing one outstanding high school or university student entrepreneur with the opportunity to compete for the title of top Global Student Entrepreneur.
It doesn’t matter if you come from small town New Zealand – Ransom grew up in the tiny Manawatu settlement of Scotts Ferry, population 64 – or from the big smoke, the opportunity is there for the taking.
The trip is part of the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEAs), a premier global competition open to student business owners the world over.
The global event’s in Washington DC and to get there selected Kiwi applicants must present their businesses to a panel of judges here in New Zealand. The winner gains the opportunity to engage with world class entrepreneurs in the US, receive media exposure here, win cash and share in more than $150,000 in donated business services.
Entries in the competition are now open and close at the end of October.
Previous winner Jonathan Wrait grabbed his chance to represent New Zealand in 2011. Today at the ripe old age of 22 Wrait has already started and sold two businesses.
Now he has been snapped up as an employee entrepreneur by Booktrack - one of his clients. Booktrack’s an award-winning Kiwi start-up that enables people to add a synchronised sound-track to an e-book or other digital text content with the audio paced to each individual’s reading speed.
Wrait, who has a B.A. in psychology from the University of Auckland, says the awards were an eye-opener for him.
“The GSEA in Washington showed me how big the world is outside New Zealand and the opportunities provided by big markets such as the US. It also helped increase my entrepreneurial networks internationally. The press coverage was invaluable in building my personal brand that helped me gain clients.
“Overall, the biggest thing was the confidence I gained from winning the NZ award and then competing against competitors from the rest world.”
So what’s Wrait’s advice to student entrepreneurs considering entering the GSEAs?
“First up; enter. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain – the opportunity is incredible. Second point; network. You'll be put in front of all sorts of people who can help you and you can learn off. Make the most of it.
“Third, practice your pitching. You'll be doing a lot of pitching both to get to the awards and when you're a finalist. Make sure you're polished, know your business inside out and know what makes a great pitch. Get help from those who've done it before,” Wrait says.
“Finally, leverage the opportunity into business success, whether it be through press coverage or getting in front of the right people or helping to obtain investment.”
Wrait says mentors play an important role too.
“Bill Smale helped us get started, get in front of the right people and navigate the corridors of bureaucracy. Gael Bevan is an expat Kiwi business master coach living in New York and I met her through the Kiwi World Mentor programme.
“While Bill mentored me in business, Gael helped in mentoring me as a business person and using my skills and abilities to help me and my companies reach their potential.”
If you think you have what it takes to be the next Jonathan Wrait you need to email a one-to-two page overview of your business to Tony Falkenstein email@example.com by 25 October.
The Judges must consider four major criteria in
their selection of the NZ Winner to compete in Washington
• You, the Entrepreneur – do you have the determination to succeed;
• Business Fundamentals – ethics, financials and embracing change;
• Lessons Learned – using mentors and marketing;
• Growth and future plans.
The NZ Finals will be held on 9 November 2013 in Auckland and the NZ winner will compete in the Global Finals in Washington, DC 20-22 November 2013.
Entrepreneurs Organisation NZ is the catalyst that enables entrepreneurs to learn and grow from each other, leading to greater business success and an enriched personal life. EO NZ was founded in 1998 and is a chapter of a US-based Entrepreneurs Organisation, a dynamic global network of more than 9,500 business owners in 42 countries. There are 50 members of the New Zealand chapter with an average age of 46 employing more than 1,600 staff representing industries from accounting through to waste management. Globally, if EO were a country it would be in the top 25 nations ranked by GDP. Membership in one of EO’s 120 chapters is by invitation only. Find out more at www.eonetwork.org