WBENC SEP Logo e1528326185503
WBENC SEP Logo e1528326185503

WBENC Announces The 22 Student Entrepreneurs Selected For Prestigious Entrepreneur Program

The Women's Business Enterprise National Council is proud to announce the 22 student entrepreneurs selected for the prestigious 2018 WBENC Student Entrepreneur Program in Detroit, Michigan from June 19-21. The program is a premier startup program for collegiate female founders.

WASHINGTON — The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) is proud to announce the 22 student entrepreneurs selected for the prestigious 2018 WBENC Student Entrepreneur Program (SEP) at WBENC’s National Conference & Business Fair in Detroit, Michigan from June 19-21.

SEP is a premier startup program for collegiate female founders. The program fosters growth for the next generation of women-owned businesses through a tailored entrepreneurial curriculum and mentoring from certified women-owned businesses and Fortune 1000 Corporate Members including Adient, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Ericsson, JCPenney, Johnson & Johnson, Macy’s, Medtronic, Merck & Co., Inc., Office Depot, PepsiCo., Procter & Gamble, Pfizer Inc, Shell Oil Company, Toyota, USPS, and Walmart. The program is supported by pitch competition sponsor EY and title sponsors FedEx and Allstate Insurance Co.

Since its inception in 2008, nearly 200 students from 64 colleges and universities across the country have graduated from SEP. This year, we are also welcoming five SEP alumnae from prior years as mentors to the current participants throughout the week and beyond. This exciting addition is made possible by our Alumni Champion Sponsor, Shell Oil Company.

As part of the program, WBENC will provide access to capital through the EY SEP Pitch Competition where students compete for $20,000 in seed capital ($10,000 First Place, $6,000 Second Place, and $4,000 Third Place). The Pitch Competition will be held on June 21 from 3 p.m.-5:30 p.m. at the WBENC National Conference & Business Fair in Detroit, Michigan.

This year’s cohort includes two Master’s students, two PhD students, and 18 undergraduate students from 22 universities majoring in biomedical sciences, engineering, computer science, business and arts. Many of these NextGen women entrepreneurs already have successful businesses and though SEP and the WBENC Network we can’t wait to see how far they can go!


  • Audrey AwasomUniversity of Maryland, College Park, Noble Uprising
  • Danya ShermanGeorge Washington University, KnoNap
  • Elyse Arvella PennOld Dominion University, Elyse Arvella LLC
  • Fa’lon Thomas, North Carolina A&T University, Onyx Ocean Technologies
  • Hannah KraebelLipscomb University, Kapped
  • Jenny LeungUCLA, BellaNove
  • Kate MeachamMount Holyoke College, Duo Display
  • Khushbu MadhiwalaNorth Carolina State University, Sudsy
  • Lauren Cornell, UT Health Science Center, NovoThelium
  • Lisa GuerreraManhattan College, Skinno
  • Manyaqi Wang, Boston College, Taest Collective
  • Nicole Garcia, UC Davis, Femikit
  • Niki Birkner Stanford University, Fresquiticos
  • Nneka Brown-Massey, Hawai’i Pacific University, Innovative Supplies Worldwide, Inc.
  • Rontier Whitfield, Mississippi State University, Esteemed Juices
  • Rose Pidgorodetska, Eastern Kentucky University, Candles
  • Safia AbdallaNorthwestern University, Zarf
  • Sara DuUniversity of California, Irvine, Sweetbud
  • Sonya LiuUniversity of Southern California, MedMind
  • Stephanie LongUniversity of Arkansas-Fort Smith, The Cake Occasion
  • Taylor HicksEast Carolina University, Simple & Sentimental
  • Whitney JonesColumbia College, Liv

To learn more about the WBENC Student Entrepreneur Program, visit www.wbenc.org/SEP.

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