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CEO Names HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE. PITCH COMPETITION WINNERS and STUDENT ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR

Friday, November 3, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: The Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization
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CEO NAMES Hall of Fame Inductee. PITCH COMPETITION WINNERS and STUDENT ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR AT GLOBAL Conference in Tampa 

TAMPA — Craig Dubitsky, founder of hello products and part of the team that created Method and eos, was recognized as this year’s outstanding entrepreneur at the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO) annual global conference. Dubitsky joins a long list of Hall of Fame recipients who represent some of the world’s most notable brands, including Kinko’s, Southwest Airlines, E-Trade, Staples, Jimmy John’s, Apple Computer, iRobot, Crate and Barrel, Priceline.com and now, Hello Products.

“We are so thankful for Craig’s efforts as an entrepreneur. Craig truly is a brand disrupter, an innovator and somebody, we believe, our members would one day aspire to be,” said James Zebrowski, CEO’s managing director. “We are thankful to Craig for engaging with our students and helping CEO create a world of opportunities.”

For nearly 34 years, CEO, which has its global headquarters in The University of Tampa’s Lowth Entrepreneurship Center, has recognized an outstanding entrepreneur for playing their part as a role model to future generations, inspiring students and up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

Another major staple of the CEO global conference is the Global Pitch Competition, which awards $10,500 in cash to student ventures that exhibit a sense of scalability and growth. This year’s first-place winner, who received $5,000, is Tyler DeVos, a student at Iowa State University who’s developed Deadeye BBQ, a barbecue sauce and seasoning brand. Hannah Kraebel, a student at Lipscomb University and founder of Kapped, and Robert Hatcher, a student at Georgia State University and founder of Soundcollide, took second ($3,500) and third ($2,000) place, respectively.

The CEO awards program, held each year at the global conference, recognizes exemplary students and impressive entrepreneurship clubs.

“CEO recognizes that running student clubs is not an easy task and for students that have an ever-growing engagement list, we want to recognize those that stand out above the rest,” said Zebrowski.

Ryan Buonaugurio, a student at Bryant University and founder of RPB Marine, was named the 2017 Collegiate Entrepreneur of the Year. Buonaugurio stumbled upon the idea for his business when he was searching for the perfect Father’s Day present for his dad. Using the technical training he picked up from watching YouTube videos, he started his company out of a friend’s workshop while in high school. Fast forward three years and as a junior at Bryant University his marine electronics company earned $225,000 in revenue in their six-month seasonal operating period.

Abilene Christian University was named as the 2017 Global Chapter of the Year and Canisius College was recognized for the Best Revenue Generating Initiative. 

Finalists of the awards program include students from the following universities and colleges:

  • Abilene Christian University
  • Bryant University
  • California State University at Fresno
  • Canisius College
  • Florida State University
  • Indiana University
  • Iowa State University
  • Saint Louis University
  • Syracuse University
  • Texas A&M University.
  • Texas Christian University
  • The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
  • University of Michigan Flint
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee
  • University of Wisconsin Whitewater

This year’s CEO Global Conference was sponsored by The University of Tampa, Northwestern Mutual, Hillsborough County, The John E. Hughes Foundation, The Coleman Foundation, Marketplace Live Simulations, The University of Florida and Florida State University. The conference generates an economic impact of more than $400,000 to the Tampa Bay region and highlights Tampa and the region of Tampa Bay as a favorable place to live, work and play to these collegiate entrepreneurs.

            For more information, contact Zebrowski at jzebrowski@ut.edu.

The Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO) is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit corporation whose mission is to “inform, support and inspire college students to be entrepreneurial and to seek opportunity through enterprise creation.” From its inception in 1984, the organization has grown to approximately 8,000 members, representing nearly 250 college- and university-based chapters.


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