Experiences shared from former grand prize winners.


2017 Winners

Full press release and  pictures!



"Participating in the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Challenge was a great experience and fun because the event offered friendly competition, the ability to further develop our business concept, and to collaborate and build our network with other competing teams, host families, and regional companies that provided coaching support.  We are grateful to VT KnowledgeWorks and the event organizers for providing an exceptional experience of learning, competition, and personal and professional growth.  The value of developing, growing, and building your global network far outweighs winning prize money. This experience has stimulated and motivated us to further develop and progress with our business idea."

Maurizio Canessa, Luckas Fonck, and Josefa Villanueva of Team Cohex from Adolfo Ibáñez University,Santiago, Chile, Winners of the 2017 Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge 

"The 2016 Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge provided us an incredible opportunity to develop, refine, and test the business that we have been passionately working on for the past year. We were incredibly grateful for the opportunity to participate, and saw nothing but excellent competition and truly remarkable fellow competitors. The social events were a great forum for networking and understanding how we play into a global context - something that was truly unique and unforgettable. Events like this are a catalyst for innovation and development; nothing prepares you better for understanding and reflecting upon the direction in which you are taking your company. The judges and attendees at the event are an invaluable resource to get experienced eyes on your business concept, and for developing future relationships. Thank you VT KnowledgeWorks and its Sponsors for this remarkable experience!"

Jordan Klein and David Hall of Team Park & Diamond, Inc. from Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA, Winners of the 2016 Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge


Other Testimonials:

Hear from Alice Batts, a student of UTS: BUiLD (Beyond UTS International Leadership Development) at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia, regarding her experiences at the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge.  Alice's team, CARmunity, received one of the $5,000 runner-up prizes at the 2012 Challenge.


“The 2015 Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge marked the first year for a team from Thailand to participate in the event. It was a privilege to be a part of this week-long experience where passionate student teams and university faculty and staff across the globe had the chance to meet and share their brilliant emerging business ideas, as we competed for a $25,000 grand prize. During the week, we partnered with a local technology company, Left Brain-Right Brain, LLC, who provided coaching support and helped strengthen our business presentation. Our host company was responsive and provided sound guidance and excellent insights. The event week provided invaluable networking opportunities where we made new friends abroad and at Virginia Tech. We were able to learn about and immerse in American culture while staying with hospitable host families, as well. We are grateful for the organization and excellent event coordination provided by the VT KnowledgeWorks staff. We highly recommend all fellow student teams to participate in this enriching, unforgettable, and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Natthaphat Laoharawee, Nuntipat Narkthong, Budsapanee Pongsiriyaporn, and Gaywalee Laimloha of Team Visionear from King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi, Thailand, Winners of the 2015 Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge


"When our team heard that we had the chance to go to the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Challenge we became motivated and spent quite a bit of effort on our project and the pitch. We learned a lot during our preparations but we learned the most during the finals week in Virginia. We received very good and constructive feedback from our host company, Click & Pledge, including how to make a pitch. This event not only educated us from a business standpoint but it was a special cultural experience. Being hosted by local families gave us insights about the culture and we significantly enjoyed our time with them. Students from all over the world participated in the event, so we could learn more about their cultures, as well. It was a great opportunity to broaden our business and personal networks in this wonderful, positive atmosphere. We are very grateful for the experience and look forward to seeing what happens with the other projects and teams, as well as who competes next year."

Leonardo Stenico, Galena Kostoska, Alberto Parrella, and Julia Wache of Team feelSpace from the University of Trento, Italy, Winners of the 2014 Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge


"The VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge was an enriching experience and incredibly beneficial on several different levels. During the event week, we were able to challenge our current market vision and the way we conduct business. These new visions came to light through the help of our host company, Interactive Achievement, who served as a business coach during the event week. Thanks to their constant support, we were highly motivated for the Challenge. Generally speaking, it was a pleasure to exchange ideas with the Virginia Tech staff, our host families and our host company, who made us feel welcome and enhanced our experience in the USA. It was also enlightening to see and learn about all the other teams’ ambitious projects. We look forward to hearing about their successes and general progress!"

Sarah Cherruault & François Dupayrat of Team Auticiel from Télécom Ecole de Management, France, Winners of the 2013 Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge

“The VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge was a phenomenal experience for our team and our business.  This competition motivated us to push forward our venture during the months leading up to the event, and discover its potential.  While in Virginia, we were provided with valuable mentorship from a partner company, as well as peer mentorship from our fellow participants.  We learned about entrepreneurship around the globe, and felt privileged to be part of an incredible community of leaders.  It was a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and we are extremely grateful to have been a part of it.  I am sure this was an amazing stepping stone in the careers of all participants, and we are curious and excited to see how each of these teams and leaders progress into the future.  Best of luck to all participants, and thank you to the entire VTKW team, our host families/companies, and everyone involved for your gracious support!”

Annelies Tjebbes & Mayank Kalra of Team VersiCool from the University of British Columbia, Canada, Winners of the 2012 Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge

“VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge provided us tools for improving our business model and giving us the chance to receive feedback, which was key for our success. The competition was very challenging, facing high potential teams with awesome ideas. We also enjoyed all the recreational activities and the time spent with our host families, which was the best way to relax throughout the week. The Global Challenge was more to us than just winning the $25,000 grand prize; it was an excellent networking opportunity to build our international partnerships with local companies and to make friends from different cultures. Are you ready to compete with high potential startups and have a lot of fun in the beautiful town of Blacksburg? If your answer is yes then it’s your turn to take the Challenge.”

Matias Rojas, Andrés Testón, Mauricio Ulloa & Guillermo Vargas of Team Kimeltu from Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Chile, Winners of the 2011 Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge

"The Global Challenge provided our business with an opportunity like no other. Having been involved with business competitions locally, the Global Challenge provided us with a forum to really develop our business and a platform to do so on a global level. The support we received from VT KnowledgeWorks was incredible and a real testament to the hardworking, dedicated and knowledgeable staff there. The Global Challenge provided us with an opportunity to network with students and business leaders from across the world.  This has helped us to develop our business and strengthen our personal network. The Global Challenge is a world class event, hosted by experts and we highly recommend this experience to student teams." 

Vincent Murray & Colm Connolly of Team Ecosy from Queen's University, Northern Ireland, Winners of the 2010 Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge