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Barbara Pruitt, Kauffman Foundation
Milun Tesovic, Age 24, Bests 1,500 Contenders For Student Entrepreneurship's Highest Honor
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Nov. 20, 2009 – For Simon Fraser University student Milun Tesovic, it all started with a love of technology and music. When Tesovic started Metroleap Media at age 15, he immediately recognized that the recording industry and the consumer were equally craving a better way to find music lyrics online. While simultaneously carrying a full course load of classes, Vancouver-based Tesovic created MetroLyrics.com. Through his hard work, the site went on to become an Internet music sensation. Today, all those late nights were validated when Tesovic became champion of the 2009 Global Student Entrepreneur Awards and the recipient of $150,000 in cash and donated services that will help support his company and development as an entrepreneur.
2009 GSEA Global Champion Milun Tesovic posed with award presenters Lesa Mitchell vice president of Advancing Innovation at the Kauffman Foundation, and Matt Stewart, co-CEO of National Services Group.
Tesovic's discovery was that song lyrics are highly searched for online, but the offerings were inaccurate and incomplete. Tesovic created MetroLyrics and turned it into the most popular lyrics site worldwide, reaching more than 35 million unique monthly visitors, ranking it as the fifth largest music Web site worldwide. MetroLyrics.com is the exclusive lyrics partner for all AOL Music properties, Billboard.com, MTV and other popular music sites.
In addition to taking the title of Global Champion, Tesovic also received the GSEA Innovation Award for his creativity and unique approach to business.
"I could not be more honored, more grateful or thrilled to win the GSEA Global Finals," said Milun Tesovic, CTO and founder MetroLeap Media. "The competition was intense. I know that I am a better entrepreneur after going through GSEA. I look forward to connecting with more entrepreneurs in EO around the world and to inspire another generation of 'dorm room' business owners."
This year's first runner up, 21-year-old Yale University student Richard Littlehale, also claimed the Social Impact Award for his national non-profit organization, Party for a Cause, which helped to raise thousands of dollars for charity through college campuses. In 2008, Littlehale founded YouRenew.com, a green electronics company that allows people and organizations to responsibly recycle and remarket their old electronics. This year's second runner up Singapore Management University student Lawrence Kim was recognized for his multi-million dollar producing marine inspection company, Ebenezer NDT Services. In addition to creating two other companies, Kim started "Eliezer" which provides over $100,000 to help young entrepreneurs to start and support their ventures. Kim also won the "Lessons From the Edge" award at the GSEA Global Finals.
"We have witnessed today one of the most inspiring displays of innovation, creativity, perseverance and potential," said Matt Stewart, chairman of the EO Global Board. "Milun embodies the entrepreneurial spirit that lifts all of us and shines a light on the path to entrepreneurship that so many young people aspire to undertake. We look forward to watching this already successful student business owner climb to new heights as a member of the GSEA family."
Each year the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) recognize the top university students currently running a business while taking a full course load of classes. As a program of the Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO), GSEA is unlike traditional business plan competitions as it celebrates student entrepreneurs who are running fully operational businesses.
The GSEA have grown by 66 percent this year, expanding to more than 27 countries around the world. The 2009 Global Finals were held at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Mo., a GSEA sponsor, as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. The Finals were judged by an international panel of entrepreneurs, journalists, philanthropists and experts in the fields of business development.
This year the competition also premiered two new Global Student Entrepreneur Awards—one for high school students and one for graduate students. High school freshman and CEO Leanna Archer started her beauty products company at age 9 based on secret formulas passed down from generations of women in her family. Today, Leanna's Inc. grosses $600,000 in annual revenue and earned her the honor of GSEA's High School Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Along with five master's degrees, a career with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the USA baseball team, William Rosellini is now president and CEO of MicroTransponder Inc., a company developing medical devices that can wirelessly control the nervous system and alleviate chronic pain. Rosellini won the Graduate School GSEA for his success in running the hundred-employee firm MicroTransponder while pursuing his Ph.D. in Neuroscience.
To enter the 2010 Global Student Entrepreneur Awards Competition, go to: www.gsea.org
About The Global Student Entrepreneur Awards:
As the premier global competition for undergraduate students, the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) inspire students to adopt entrepreneurial endeavors by bringing global visibility to student business owners who are innovative, profitable and socially responsible. Since 1998, the GSEA, a program founded at the John Cook School of Business at Saint Louis University, has honored outstanding undergraduates who juggle a course load as a student and run their own businesses at the same time. The Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) took on leadership of the GSEA in 2006 to offer student entrepreneurs access to a global network of mentors, resources and connections from the most influential community of entrepreneurs in the world. The GSEA is generously supported by founding partner Mercedes Benz Financial and major foundations, including the NYSE Foundation the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Acton Foundation for Entrepreneurial Excellence and the Todd Thomas Foundation. To nominate a student entrepreneur or to get involved, go to www.gsea.org.
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