GSEA or Global Student Entrepreneur Awards is meant to support young entrepreneurs around the world. The contest was launched in 1998 at the Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business at Saint Louis University for participants from Canada, the United States, and Mexico. By 2022, the contest has encompassed 60 countries. For the participants, it’s an opportunity to bring their products to the national or international markets, as well as receive support from mentors and expand their network.

GSEA Russia 2023 is the national stage of the global competition. This year, 200 participants competed in eight categories: Best Student Entrepreneur, Breakthrough of the Year, Production, Innovations, Social Impact + Sustainability, IT Solutions, E-commerce, and Global Startup. 

Daria Durneva won in the category Best Student Entrepreneur with her project Alba Vertu, which centers on the development of textile materials using gene engineering. Daria defended this project as a business-thesis in collaboration with other students in the Master’s program  Innovation Entrepreneurship. These days, the project team includes researchers from the university’s ChemBio Cluster, while Daria manages its business processes.

As a winner of the national stage, Daria will get to present her project at the international finals and compete for the chance to join such business communities as Young Presidents' Organization, Equium, and Entrepreneurs’ Organization.

“We are only in the beginning and there’s still a long way to go. Our team is actively working on the technology, while I am managing everything business-wise. Next, we will begin developing the project’s website and attract our first investments. To me, the biggest prize is the opportunity to learn,” said Ms. Durneva.