Westmont Student Wins Entrepreneur Award

Westmont student Eric Knopf of Troutdale, Ore., won first prize for the southwest region in the 2003 Global Students Entrepreneur Awards Program.

Knopf received a plaque and $2,500 for his new business venture, Epic Life LLC, at the 15th annual GSEA awards reception April 30 at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. The southwest region includes Arizona, Nevada, California, Utah and Hawaii.

Epic Life is a non-profit organization operating primarily out of Santa Barbara. It markets eXtreme sports clothing lines; manages eXtreme sports teams in surfing, mountain biking, and motocross; and plans to sponsor music bands, contests, video production, books and special events in preparation for ultimately launching an eXtreme sports park.

“This is a very fine national award for a student venture coming out of Westmont’s entrepreneurship program,” said David Newton, professor of entrepreneurial finance.

“Knopf’s plan will now be entered in the next level, the international division of the GSEA. The international competition gives special awards in a few unique categories, and Epic Life has an excellent positioning for the ‘social impact’ category of collegiate entrepreneurship business.”

Epic Life was reworked, expanded and fine-tuned during Newton’s fall 2002 course, Entrepreneurship and New Venture Development.

The GSEA, founded in 1988, awards more than $80,000 annually, recognizing outstanding undergraduate student entrepreneurs who are simultaneously juggling course work and cash flows – and succeeding at both.

For more information, call Newton at (805) 565-6193 or e-mail newton@westmont.edu. m. to 4 p.m. For more information, contact Reynolds Gallery at (805) 565-6162, or the public affairs office at 565-7057.