GCSEN is dedicated to spreading the practice of Social Entrepreneurship to higher ed students, institutions, companies and non-profit entities across the world.


KINGSTON, NY, USA, April 25, 2019 / / --

GCSEN , The Global Center for Social Entrepreneurship Network (GCSEN Foundation) recently had eighteen teams of GCSEN-trained students from SUNY New Paltz and Vassar College enter the prestigious NY State Business Plan, Mid-Hudson Regional Competition held at Marist College, Poughkeepsie NY. Out of a total of thirty-eight team entrants, six GCSEN-trained teams, five from SUNY New Paltz and one from Vassar College placed 1st or 2nd in their categories, advancing to compete in the NY State Business Plan Competition Finals in Albany on April 26, 2019.

The New York Business Plan Competition is a venture creation and innovation competition that was established in 2009 to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship throughout New York’s colleges and universities. The top teams from each of the ten regional zones advance to the final statewide competition in Albany, where college teams will go head-to-head for cash and in-kind prizes. Since 2010, more than 2,500 students have participated in the NYBPC, more than 100 businesses have been started, and the NYBPC has seeded over $1M, yielding over $20M in additional funding for these innovative start-up companies.

SUNY New Paltz had two teams finish in first place in their divisions: Golden Ages and Explark and three teams, Fare Stable, Vitality, and Co-act Furniture finishing in second place, with all five teams going to Albany. Vassar College’s first place winner in its category is entitled Izana.

Ms. Kristin Backhaus, Dean of the SUNY New Paltz School of Business said of Tony DiMarco, Entrepreneurship Adjunct Professor and Managing Director of GCSEN’s Global Platforms, “Tony DiMarco has done an outstanding job in preparing our students for this competition. Thanks to his hard work and our students' creativity and professionalism, five winners at this year's competition were from SUNY New Paltz! Congratulations to all of our student competitors (we sent 14 teams) and to Tony for his fine work!”

Ms. Stacy Bingham, Director, Career Development Office, and Lisa Kaul, Director, Office of Community- Engaged Learning, both from Vassar College, partnered to support the GCSEN’s Social Venture Internship (SVI) program for Vassar students. Ms. Bingham said, “It is great to see the progress our students can make through this self-paced internship program supported by coaching. We are pleased that four students represented Vassar College with social ventures they created through the program, and we’re especially proud to see the Izana social venture take first place in the Products and Services category. The GCSEN SVI program has been a great way for our students to take a structured approach to
making a meaningful social impact.”

GCSEN’s Tony DiMarco said, “Congratulations to all the Vassar Social Venture Interns and to the SUNY New Paltz students who competed in the Regional Business Plan Competition. They all did an amazing job! I’m very pleased to see how our GCSEN course materials and coaching can create life-changing experiences and are effective and impactful in the lives of our students.”

GCSEN Founder & President Mike Caslin said, “We are ecstatic that our Social Venture Internship students at Vassar and our SUNY New Paltz students have done so well at this important state-wide competition. GCSEN is at the cutting edge of Social Entrepreneurship research, education and leadership. Every campus and business can benefit from learning what GCSEN has tested and proven. Participants in our programs consistently rate it as a life-changing experience, with significant knowledge gains, while closing the ‘confidence to action gap’, resulting in 10X increases in student business formulation rates. The positive ripple effects our programs have on individuals and on campuses has been dramatic, and we continue to build on our successes.”

Since 2015, GCSEN has developed and rolled out a series of innovative Social Entrepreneurship Experience (SVE) offerings including its highly regarded Social Venture Boot Camps for college students and adult learners, and its on-line blended learning courses with live coaching, SE 101 & SE 102. These courses earn successful participants college accreditation where available, and GCSEN’s resume enhancing SVE Certification and professional reference, as well as access to GCSEN’s life-long on-line support community. The courses have been offered at Wheaton College, SUNY New Paltz School of Business, Vassar College and Saint Peter’s University Business School (Jersey City) and are currently under discussion for implementation at other campuses.

GCSEN has been featured in numerous publications and media platforms, including MarketWatch, Yahoo Finance, and as an “On-trendpreneur” in Trends Journal’s article “Want to Change the World? There May be Money In It.” The New England Journal of Higher Education stated, “GSCEN’s research has conclusively shown that SE education results in significant content knowledge gains retained by students; shows significant gains in self-confidence; is ranked highly as life-changing by students; and is highly recommended by students to their peers. Additionally, SE gained a business formulation rate near 50% by
students participating in GSCEN programs, far above the typical campus average.”

GCSEN Founder & President Mike Caslin is an internationally recognized thought leader of Social Entrepreneurship, currently lecturing at SUNY New Paltz School of Business (NY), and Saint Peter’s University Business School (Jersey City, NJ). He is a past faculty member of Babson College, CUNY-Baruch College Zicklin School of Business, Marist College School of Business and Manhattanville College. He has spent the last three decades studying, lecturing and facilitating efforts to promote social entrepreneurship on a global scale. GCSEN’s leadership and influence in the field of Social Entrepreneurship in Higher Education continues to build, as seen in its support of Wheaton College’s successful effort in 2017 to create enhanced social entrepreneur programming, facilitated by a grant of
$10M from the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation of Bethesda, MD.

The GCSEN Foundation is an IRS-approved 501(c-3) not-for-profit organization, accelerating social entrepreneurship around the world.

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