Winners Announced – VTKW Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge

The Seventh Annual VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Event held on August 11-20, 2016, provided a unique opportunity for student teams and faculty from all over the world a chance to collaborate and initiate their personal global networks through learning, socialization, and friendly competition in Blacksburg and Roanoke, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

During this celebration of entrepreneurship, student teams from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Ecuador, Egypt, England, Germany, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, Switzerland, Thailand, and the USA competed in the Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge for a $25,000 grand prize and the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge Trophy.

The grand prize of $25,000 was awarded to Park and Diamond, Inc. of Virginia Tech, USA, which included Jordan Klein and David Hall. Their prize package included the $10,000 Plastics One Advanced Manufacturing Award for the most outstanding tangible product. In addition to that, they were awarded another $15,000; and as a permanent tribute to their success, their name and university will be etched into the base of the Global Challenge Trophy, which will reside at VT KnowledgeWorks in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center. Their winning concept was an improved cycling helmet that is ultra portable. Their helmet eliminates bulkiness and the stigma of current bicycle helmets.

The $10,000 VT KnowledgeWorks Information Technology Award for the most outstanding intangible product or service went to Construction Cloud of University of Technology, Sydney, Australia, represented by Hartley Pike, Samuel McDonnell, Tommaso Armstrong, and Jan Schroeder. Construction Cloud lets construction teams function like they have a photographic memory. Construction teams can create a visual timeline of their project from start to finish, keeping all photos and videos stored securely in one place. Accessible by all team members via mobile and web, Construction Cloud saves time, improves team communication and protects companies in disputes. Users have the details remembered for them, so they can get on with building their project on time without headaches. It’s like the Instagram and Dropbox for the construction industry – a photo library stored in the cloud.

The People’s Choice award of $5,000, sponsored by Virginia Tech’s Outreach and International Affairs, was selected by vote of the event attendees at the Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge. The People’s Choice was awarded to eLog, of University of Kent, England, whose business concept aims to use technology to help displaced people across the world fleeing political persecution and war. Refugees use eLog to map their migration and provide evidence of their journey when applying for asylum as well as family records. This revolutionary application speeds up the integration program, helping to settle refugees into their new home. Cesare Dunker and Rayyan Sorefan presented the concept.

The competition finals at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center on August 18, 2016, were part of a celebration of student entrepreneurship and students’ important contributions to the global economy. The day concluded with an awards banquet and flag presentation ceremony at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center.

During the rest of their visit to the USA, global teams enjoyed a two-day trip to Washington, D.C., including sightseeing at museums and monuments, and a United States Capitol tour. Teams attended a lunch at the Embassy of Italy and were welcomed by other embassy representatives from their home region, as well as observed a panel discussion on “Globalizing your Business.”

While in Blacksburg, teams were housed by local families, spent interactive time with successful technology companies and enjoyed fellowship with Virginia Tech students. Some of the activities included tours of the Virginia Tech campus, Lane Stadium, Dairy Science Complex – Kentland Farm, and the Moss Arts Center; souvenir shopping experiences in Roanoke and Blacksburg; and festive meals throughout the entire event. The event concluded with a regional audience attending the Tastes and Sounds of the Valleys Reception at The Hotel Roanoke on August 19, 2016, where winning teams were honored and all participants of the Global Partnership Event were recognized.

To learn more about the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge, visit our website at To view a list of all participating University Partners from around the world, go to

These generous sponsors make this very special week of education, competition, relaxation, and relationship-building possible: Allegheny Logistics GroupAutomation Creations, Inc., BAE SystemsBB&T, The Branch Group, Inc., Brown, Edwards & Company, LLP, Carilion ClinicCelaneseCIT GAP Funds, City of Roanoke, First Bank & Trust CompanyG.J. Hopkins, Inc.National Bank, New River Valley Intellectual Property Law, Plastics One Inc., PowerSchoolRackspace, Shentel, SimulTV, SMBWSunTrust Bank , TechLab, Third Security, Town of Blacksburg, Town of Christiansburg, Union Bank & Trust, Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, Virginia Tech’s Outreach and International Affairs, VPT, Inc., and Wordsprint.

For a complete list of other contributors of the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Event, please visit our website at

VT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship world-wide, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, supported by the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters is in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

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