EO's Global Student Entrepreneur Awards Names Derek Rucki University Student as Canadian National Champion
Toronto, Canada (5 February 2015) – The Entrepreneurs' Organization's (EO) Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) today announced that Derek Rucki, CEO of TLink and student at Mount Royal University, is the winner of their first-ever Canadian National Competition. Zach Wolff, an Asper Business School MBA student, took home the title of Canadian Graduate Student Winner for his company Exigence Technologies. Rucki will travel to Washington, D.C. to compete against student entrepreneurs from across the globe for a chance to win $20,000 and the title of “EO’s Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2015.
Rucki, a student of Mount Royal’s innovation and entrepreneurship program and avid golfer, founded TLink in 2013 on the heels of playing a remarkable 300 rounds with amateur golfer friends who wore clunky GPS golf watches. Enjoying the feel of his lightweight Livestrong band and acknowledging an opportunity to modify the look and functionality of existing golf wrist wearables, the idea for TLink was born.
“When I realized that simple improvements could be make to existing technology to create a superior user experience, I knew I had something viable. ” said Derek Rucki, CEO and Co-founder of TLink. “Adding to the tremendous excitement of competing with my fellow finalists at the Globals in Washington is the opportunity to connect with prominent EO members who might see potential in my idea."
Rucki and five other Canadian student finalists from across the country presented to panel of Toronto judges, including renowned entrepreneurs Bruce Croxon (Co-Founder, Lavalife) and Peter Thomas (Founder, Century 21 Real Estate Canada Ltd.) and business leaders from the Toronto chapter of Entrepreneurs' Organization.
Also making the trip to DC for the Global finals is Canadian Graduate Student Competition winner Zach Wolff. Wolff, an Asper Business MBA student, blew the judges away with the presentation of Exigence Technologies, a company that specializes in antimicrobial resistance.
“Having the opportunity to share my vision with EO members was an energizing experience, and I was overwhelmed by the wealth of positive feedback on my strategy,” said Zach Wolff, CEO of Exigence Technologies. “The people I’ve met through this event have generously shared their knowledge and wisdom, which I will continue draw on as I build my venture.”
“This was the inaugural Canadian National competition and we were honoured to host it in Toronto,” said Steve Kearley, Canadian GSEA Chair. “We were impressed and inspired by the level of passion that each of the finalists brought to the room. Although any one of our competitors could have taken home the prize, Derek Rucki’s innovation and adaptability became the deciding factor.”
The Entrepreneurs' Organization's (EO) GSEA is the premier global competition that honors the top high school, college and graduate students who have founded and are running revenue-generating businesses. EO will host the Global Finals competition in Washington D.C. from April 15-17, 2015, where the U.S. finalist and finalists from around the world will go head-to-head for a shot at the title and $20,000.
For additional information on the EO GSEA Canadian National Finals.
About the Entrepreneurs' Organization's Global Student Entrepreneur Awards
As the premier global competition for high school, undergraduate and graduate students, the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (EO GSEA) represents more than 1,700 leading student entrepreneurs from more than 32 countries. Built on a mission to inspire students to start and grow entrepreneurial ventures, EO GSEA brings global visibility to pioneering student business owners. Since 1998, EO GSEA, a program founded at the John Cook School of Business at Saint Louis University, has honored outstanding students who simultaneously attend university full-time while running their own businesses. EO took on leadership of the EO 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. To nominate a student entrepreneur or to get involved, visit www.gsea.org. You can also join the conversation on Facebook and follow EO GSEA on Twitter at @EO_GSEA.