The Austin chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization, a global network of business owners, today announced that Austin Archuleta will represent the city in the organization’s Global Student Entrepreneur Awards Finals. Additionally, the 2014 competition is now accepting nominations and applications, which can be submitted at www.gsea.org/nominate.
Archuleta is one of 30 finalists selected from over 1,700 applicants across 20 countries to compete on November 20-22 in Washington, D.C for $150 thousand in cash and donated business services.
Archuleta, who graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in May, qualified for the Finals with Scanther, a social media marketing company that provides small businesses with a more affordable way to create and use smart signs and mobile sites to connect with customers online. Since participating in the regional competition in March, Archuleta has secured three beta customers in Austin, and is already in discussions with national retailers.
“Winning would really bring validation and allow us to invest in development, but participating in GSEA has already proven to be extremely valuable,” said Archuleta. “The mentorship and resources I’ve received from EO Austin and its members have helped me grow as an entrepreneur, better address business challenges, and position Scanther for much faster growth than I ever could have imagined.”
In preparation for the Finals in November, Archuleta has received coaching and guidance from multiple EO Austin members, including Tim Hamilton, founder of Astonish Design, who won the regional competition in Dallas in 2007.
“Having been a student participant who reaped the benefits of the program, it’s great to be able to pay it forward,” said Hamilton, who is now participates as a GSEA judge. “EO exists to provide entrepreneurs with guidance and a support network of peers, and working with students through GSEA is such a natural extension of that mission. We want to continue to help find the next generation of entrepreneurs and give them the confidence and the support they need to grow their businesses.”
Archuleta, a lifetime area resident who was inspired by his entrepreneur father, hopes to soon distribute Scanther on a national scale, but plans to keep the company headquartered in Austin.