Posts By: Marisa White

Daniela Blanco Named Global Champion at the 2019 EO Global Student Entrepreneur Awards

2019 GSEA Winners

Founder of Sunthetics, won the title after competing final rounds in Macao


(Hong Kong – 15 April 2019) – Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), the world’s leading peer-to-peer network of successful business owners, has awarded the title of Global Champion to Daniela Blanco from the United States at the 2019 Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA).


The announcement comes following two days of final-round competitions in Macao, where Daniela, competed against 51 other ‘studentpreneurs’ in order to win the esteemed title. In addition to a US$25,000 cash prize, she also won US$75,000 worth of Amazon Web Services credits to help support her business. The annual event is the premier global competition for students who own and operate a business while attending college or university and helps cultivate the future generation of entrepreneurs, bringing value to today’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.


Daniela started Sunthetics with the goal of making the chemical industry more sustainable and less harmful to the environment. Her company has developed a method to manufacture Nylon’s key component using renewable energy that is more efficient and less expensive than the current industrial process. Speaking humbly following her win, she said: “GSEA has been life-changing for me. The entire experience has made me grow and realize how much it matters to understand who you are and what got you to where you are. If that fuels your motivation and drives you forward then it doesn’t matter how hard it gets.”


Runners up taking 2nd and 3rd place took home US$10,000 and US$5,000 respectively. Alberto Soto Benitez, founder of Guatemala’s first tea blending company, Utopia Premium Tea, came in 2nd place and the 3rd prize winner was Gustavo Fuga dos Reis from Brazil, founder of 4YOU2, a platform for low-income families and individuals to learn English.


On the judging panel at this year’s competition was Bubu Andres, EO Global Chair, who reflected on the competition: “Interacting with students participating in the GSEA competition is always inspiring. Being able to manage a business and a full academic schedule is no small feat, being able to do all of that and create social impact is even more impressive. The main aim of this program is to help student entrepreneurs, however, the members who volunteer as mentors and judges walk away from this with learning experiences too. Congratulations to the winners this year and we wish all participants success with their future endeavours.”


Chairman’s awards were also presented recognizing the unique efforts of some of the participants this year. Alondra Toledo from Puerto Rico won the Innovation award for, UnderstHand, her business focused on making healthcare services more accessible for deaf and hard-of-hearing communities. The Lessons from the Edge award went to Fabian Lindner from the Netherlands for his perseverance with his company, Zzinga that produces a sparkling honey drink sustainably. This year’s Social Impact award went to Naziba Naila Wafa, co-founder of Resurgence, a company revolutionizing menstrual hygiene in low-income communities through low-cost, biodegradable sanitary pads made out of water hyacinth.


Competing at the 2019 EO GSEA, held at the Sheraton Grand Macao Hotel, were 52 studentpreneurs from across the globe. Each participant competed against peers locally and national winners then progressed to represent their country at the global finals. GSEA participants are college or university students and entrepreneurs that are either the owner, founder or primary shareholder of a business that has been operational for at least six consecutive months. The 2019-2020 competition season for EO GSEA is now open. To know more, visit: http://gsea.org/apply/


The 2019 EO GSEA Global Champion, Daniela Blanco

Second Place, Alberto Soto Benitez

Third Place, Gustavo Fuga


About the Entrepreneurs’ Organization’s Global Student Entrepreneur Awards
As the premier global competition for university students, the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) represents more than 1,500 prominent student entrepreneurs from over 50 countries. Built on a mission to inspire students to start and grow entrepreneurial ventures, GSEA brings global visibility to pioneering student business owners. Since 1998, the GSEA, a program founded at the John Cook School of Business at Saint Louis University, has honoured outstanding students who simultaneously attend university full-time while running their own businesses. The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) took on leadership of the GSEA in 2006 to offer student entrepreneurs access to a global network of mentors, resources and connections from the most influential community of entrepreneurs in the world. The Entrepreneurs’ Organization’s GSEA is generously supported by Thomas Franchise Solutions.

About the Entrepreneurs’ Organization

The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) is a global, peer-to-peer network of more than 13,000+influential business owners with 188 chapters in 58 countries. Founded in 1987, EO is the catalyst that enables leading entrepreneurs to learn and grow, leading to greater success in business and beyond.


Priscilla D’ Souza
Director of Communications
Entrepreneurs’ Organization
Email: PDsouza@eonetwork.org