San Antonio – St. Mary’s University’s Bill Greehey School of Business students and the Algur H. Meadows Center for Entrepreneurial Studies win national recognition after winning three first-place awards at the Collegiate Entrepreneur Organization’s National Conference held in Chicago over the weekend.

Only 60 students nationwide, out of 150, who applied were chosen to compete in this highly competitive event. St. Mary’s students competed internally for the opportunity, and three were chosen to go on to the national competition.

Alexandra McCoy, E-scholar and English major, took first place and $2,500 in the Elevator Pitch Competition. McCoy’s business concept is a women’s dress shoe with detachable heels which creates a shoe with 11 different heel height options. In the Elevator Pitch Competition, students have 90 seconds (the time of an elevator ride) to deliver a business concept to attract investors. This is the second time a St. Mary’s student has won this award; it happened for the first time in 2008.

Dyana Garcia, a Marketing major and E-scholar, won the award for “Best Student Leader.” Garcia won the award for her leadership role as CEO of Rattler Enterprises, St. Mary’s student-managed business housed in the Bill Greehey School of Business.

The third award went to the Meadows Center for Entrepreneurial Studies for “Best In-Person Networking Opportunities for Students.” The Center was honored for the Forum on Entrepreneurship Breakfast Series and the Executive Speaker Series, both of which provide opportunities for students to network with prominent entrepreneurs and business leaders.

The Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization is the premier global entrepreneurship network, which serves more than 200 universities and thousands of students. Each year, over 1,600 students attend the national conference with hundreds competing for these awards. During the three-day conference, students also participated in workshops, such as recognizing business opportunities, raising financial capital, E-commerce, branding and risk management. This year students also had the chance to interact and learn from nationally renowned entrepreneurs such as Jimmy John Liautaud, founder of Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches; Jeff Hoffman, founder and CEO in the; and Michael DeLazzer, original founding member of Redbox.

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