We asked student entrepreneurs to share their experiences in business competitions, and why they feel competing can be valuable. Each student is a Global Finalist for the EO Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (EO GSEA), a global competition run by the Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO).
1. Unite Entrepreneurs
"Business competitions are vital to the entrepreneurial ecosystem. I have met dozens of entrepreneurs from all over, and interacted with peers from Taiwan, Korea, China, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore. The melting pot of ideas is the lifeblood of an entrepreneur who wishes to avoid stagnation. This aspect is precisely what I have experienced as I've interacted with experienced business owners and investors. They can provide invaluable support or guidance. As entrepreneurship is truly a lonely journey, it is our peers who understand the rigors the most."
Founder and CEO, Hyron Infotech Pte Ltd
2. Inspire Others
"Business competitions have become very important to me, as I have always perceived them to be dynamic platforms that present extraordinary opportunities for business owners to present the very best of their companies to the world. Of course, this opens doors to gaining positive exposure, and gives a unique edge for innovatively collaborating with fellow business owners. During presentations, current entrepreneurs exhibit their strongest points in front of a broad audience, and it can encourage prospective counterparts to finally take that initiative and realize that the world is at their fingertips!"
Managing Director, Global Tutor
3. Discover Personal Motivation
"As an athlete and entrepreneur, I relate skills I've learned through sports into my business career, including leadership and team-building. The competitiveness of sports has motivated me to compete in the business world. As such, business competitions are a great way to bring together great companies and grow the entrepreneurship ecosystem. Even by simply attending business competitions, you are able to make new connections and see how other entrepreneurs operate their own companies. I have been a finalist in several entrepreneurial programs and competitions. They always push me to become a better entrepreneur, and motivate other young businesspeople to achieve their goals."
Founder and CEO, East Coast Lifestyle
4. View Alternate Perspectives
"I started my first formal business in Zimbabwe when I was 17 years old. From the onset, I found it was critical to acquire knowledge from diverse sources and advisers. As I crossed the local and international boundaries, I realized that there can be many different perspectives about your business from others in various fields. To that end, business competitions are essential because they provide an opportunity for one to be exposed to a variety of judges who have these varying backgrounds and knowledge. You don't need to win because the feedback you receive is priceless."
Managing Director, Aura Group (Pvt) Ltd
5. Recruit Talent
"This is similar to networking, where you'd like to meet as many people as possible. From pitching my business, I have met people who have ended up working for me, joined my team, or who helped me grow my business. At these competitions, there are other talented entrepreneurs, so if you can meet a lot of them and hear what they do, maybe you can see how you would fit together. I have worked with so many people from these competitions, and I would not have known of their services prior to the pitch."
COO, Diamond MMA