NYU Tandon School of Engineering Ph.D. Candidate Daniela Blanco Named Global Champion at the 2019 Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) Global Student Entrepreneur Awards

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Founder of Sunthetics won the title after competing final rounds in China

Daniela Blanco Named Global Champion at the 2019 Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) Global Student Entrepreneur Awards

“Daniela is an amazing embodiment of the entrepreneurial spirit that is so much a part of our mission here at NYU Tandon,” said Dean of the NYU Tandon School of Engineering Jelena Kovačević.

Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), the world’s leading peer-to-peer network of successful business owners, has awarded the title of Global Champion to Daniela Blanco from the United States at the 2019 Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA).

Blanco, now a second-year Ph.D. student in chemical engineering at New York University (NYU) Tandon School of Engineering, captured the Global title at the 2019 EO GSEA competition held at the Sheraton Grand Macao Hotel in China, following two days of final-round competitions against 51 other ‘studententrepreneurs’.

Daniela's Journey to Macao
Daniela Blanco, who won the New York City Regional GSEA Competition in November and took the National title in April, started Sunthetics with the goal of making the chemical industry more sustainable and less harmful to the environment. Her company has developed a method to manufacture Nylon’s key component using renewable energy that is more efficient and less expensive than the current industrial process.

Blanco leads technology and business development for Sunthetics, building and optimizing the chemical reactor for commercial use. She has two other business partners, co-founders, Miguel Modestino, technology advisor and Assistant Professor at the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (named Top Innovator under 35 by MIT Technology Review) and Myriam Sbeiti, a chemical engineer co-leading business development alongside Blanco. The team has won several awards and grants, including the 2018 University Startup World Cup (GreenTech track) held in Denmark, the NYU Stern Entrepreneurship Challenge, NYU InnoVention Challenge, and Stage I and II of VentureWell Grant.

Speaking humbly following her win, Daniela said: “GSEA has been life-changing for me. The entire experience has made me grow and realize how much it matters to understand who you are and what got you to where you are. If that fuels your motivation and drives you forward then it doesn’t matter how hard it gets.”

“The GSEA award is a well deserve recognition to Daniela’s creativity and hard work,” added Modestino. “I am looking forward to the future that awaits Daniela’s entrepreneurial endeavors and to work alongside her on making the chemical industry more sustainable, one reaction at a time.”

“Daniela is an amazing embodiment of the entrepreneurial spirit that is so much a part of our mission here at NYU Tandon,” said Dean of the NYU Tandon School of Engineering Jelena Kovačević. “She represents the growing influence of women in engineering and the outgrowth of technology and innovation from lab bench to market. She and Sunthetics perfectly illustrate the way Tandon is innovating to solve problems of global importance.”

Global Highlights
In addition to a US$25,000 cash prize, she also won US$75,000 worth of Amazon Web Services credits to help support her business. GSEA participants are college or university students and entrepreneurs that are either the owner, founder or primary shareholder of a business that has been operational for at least six consecutive months.

Runners up taking second and third place took home US$10,000 and US$5,000 respectively. Alberto Soto Benitez, founder of Guatemala’s first tea blending company, Utopia Premium Tea, came in 2nd place; and the 3rd prize winner was Gustavo Fuga dos Reis from Brazil, founder of 4YOU2, a platform for low-income families and individuals to learn English.

Additional Award Winners
Chairman’s awards were also presented, including the Innovation Award, presented to Alondra Toledo for UnderstHand, a Puerto Rican-based company focused on making healthcare services more accessible for deaf and hard-of-hearing communities. The Lessons from the Edge Award went to Fabian Lindner for his Netherlands-based company, Zzinga, that produces a sparkling honey drink sustainably. This year’s Social Impact Award went to Naziba Naila Wafa, co-founder of Resurgence, a Bangladesh-based company revolutionizing menstrual hygiene in low-income communities through low-cost, biodegradable sanitary pads made out of water hyacinth.

About the Entrepreneurs’ Organization’s Global Student Entrepreneur Awards:
The Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) is the premier global competition for students who own and operate a for-profit and/or social enterprise structured business while attending a college or university. Nominees compete against their peers from around the world in a series of local and/or national competitions in hopes to qualify for GSEA Finals. Founded in 1998 by Saint Louis University, GSEA is now an Entrepreneurs’ Organization program. To learn more, visit http://www.gsea.org.

The 2019-20 competition season for EO GSEA is now open. To know more, visit: http://gsea.org/apply/

About the Entrepreneurs’ Organization
The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) is a global, peer-to-peer network of more than 13,000+ influential business owners with 188 chapters in 58 countries. Founded in 1987, EO is the catalyst that enables leading entrepreneurs to learn and grow, leading to greater success in business and beyond.

View more images of Global Winner Daniela Blanco here: https://we.tl/t-l035mOCBar

Contact:
MacKenzie Wilson
Project Manager
917.444.0334
gsea.nyc
help(at)gsea(dot)nyc

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MacKenzie Wilson / Project Manager