3 steps to kick off your chapter’s virtual GSEA competition — —

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Have you seen Start It Up, the EO miniseries that chronicles the 2022 Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) competition? The end is broadcast June 30, 2022. You can watch the four inspiring episodes on EO’s GSEA competition YouTube channel.

Libby Rothschild is a member of EO New Jersey, a registered nutritionist and founder of Dietitian Boss, where she shows dietitians how to go from scratch to creating a six-figure virtual practice using her trademark method. As a successful entrepreneur with a passion for startups, Libby shared her experience in helping EO New Jersey launch its GSEA virtual competition.

What happens when you bring together a group of entrepreneurs? They learn how to launch initiatives and lead leaders.

As a member of the EO who has been co-chair of previous initiatives, it didn’t take long to see the power of GSEA to support young entrepreneurship. That’s why when the opportunity presented itself, I excitedly joined other EO New Jersey members and GSEA presidents Larry Prager and Mike Schofel to team up and support GSEA’s first virtual competition. in New Jersey. Our goal was to organize the contest virtually and successfully select a winner.

The outcome of the GSEA New Jersey competition includes the award for an entrepreneurial student as the winner of a $ 5,000 prize and resources from our chapter. This project included the help of two chairs, multiple co-chairs, a previous winner, chapter mentors and referents. The relationship between the reference partners and the competitors is very important. The GSEA program serves as a great opportunity for students to learn what it is possible to achieve as a new entrepreneur while drawing attention to the EO and the abundant resources of our organization.

Larry Prager had the vision to start the competition virtually by creating a process for judges to use Google surveys to rank student presenters. Without a face-to-face option, Larry and Mike organized a quick and effective process so judges could score, discuss, and comment on competitors easily using Zoom.

The scores were entered by the judges in real time and the workrooms were coordinated by our technology president, Steve Ferman. The biggest hurdle with the transition from face-to-face to virtual presence includes better project management ahead of competition time to coordinate the different technology platforms involved.

In addition to a well-designed virtual competition from an organizational standpoint, the chairs broadcast the competition live for marketing and promotional purposes. The live broadcast can support future applicants who want to know what the day of the competition is like. The best part of coordinating the event included having an NJ GSEA winner, Sarah Pomeranz, as a judge to offer her unique perspective.

The event would not have been possible without the qualified students having entered the competition. For years we have relied on incredible references such as Alfred Blake, Elizabeth Rich and Eric Ligouri; we are very grateful for your critical input.

This year, the chairs were open to my proof of a new idea: to create the LinkedIn page of the chapters. I suggested interviewing two previous winners and one of our benchmarks in an effort to attract more applicant students to New Jersey. It worked!

Here are our three tips and best practices to help motivate your chapter to organize your next GSEA contest virtually:

1. Make every effort to speed up the competition day

Create simple processes (i.e., Google surveys) and predisposed workrooms (i.e., using Zoom) for the day of the competition to keep your event on schedule. This is especially true for virtual competitions due to the different technologies at play and the need to coordinate multiple people along the shared timeline.

2. Involve previous winners

With the participation of EO New Jersey GSEA 2020 winner Sarah Pomeranz, both in the process of promoting the competition and the competition itself (as a judge) created a more diverse panel. The competitors responded well to Sarah’s participation because she is a former student and winner, in addition, she is very smart and kind. Competitors asked him several questions and wanted his specific opinion, which shows how valuable a former competitor is as a judge and participant in the competition.

3. Include social media marketing efforts

As co-chair, I was encouraged to use my marketing skills to promote our GSEA virtual competition. I suggested recording conversations as participants ’testimonials. I interviewed two previous winners, Sarah Pomeranz and Kwaku Agyemang, as well as a benchmark, Alfred Blake. I posted clips of our interviews on the GSEA LinkedIn page of our chapter to encourage potential candidates to apply. With the dual goal of getting more diverse applicants and a larger number of applicants, we will continue to use social media as a platform to attract entrepreneurial students in the coming years.

For more information and inspiration from current top entrepreneurs, see EO on Inc. and more articles from the EO blog.

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