At Seton Hall, the Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year award is given to outstanding entrepreneurs who have been a part of the Hall community. This past year, Ryan Skolnick was given the award for his company, Aveho Learning, which is a fully immersive, photorealistic, language learning video game.
Professor Susan Scherreik remarked, “The Emerging Entrepreneur Award, which began in 2014, is an annual award that is presented to either a current student or recent alumnus who is an outstanding young entrepreneur.”
The award itself is presented at the annual Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Induction Dinner held in the fall. This dinner, which began 11 years ago, honors two outstanding successful alumni entrepreneurs each year.
Dr. Joyce Strawser Dean of the Stillman School of Business explained that the award was developed to showcase the successes of Seton Hall’s talented students who are in the early stages of starting a business.
“The award itself is a way to encourage our budding entrepreneurs and highlight them as role models for others in our community.” she stated.
Though he was not expecting the award, Skolnick explained how honored he felt.
“Upon receiving the award… it was fantastic. It was truly humbling to be honored in front of so many esteemed entrepreneurs.”
To Strawser, Skolnick was an obvious choice for this award. According to her, Aveho Learning’s startup concept showed much innovation since play takes place in an international destination, where the player must use language skills to advance in the game.
Strawser informed The Setonian that, as a freshman, Skolnick’s Aveho business concept earned him first-place honors in Stillman’s Pirate’s Pitch venture fund competition. In April 2016, Skolnick took second-place honors at the inaugural UPitchNJ, a statewide business plan competition.
Since winning the award on Nov. 10, 2016, Skolnick recounted having multiple people reach out to him to let him know about different accelerators and programs that he could apply to.
Skolnick is a triple major in management, marketing and IT. Originally, he was not going to take on all three majors, but his mentors informed him that many IT major classes overlap with marketing and management anyway. He then decided to add the third major.
“We are very proud of Ryan and we at SHU strive to create as many opportunities as possible for our students and alumni to launch startups and be inspired by our alumni entrepreneurs. These awards also help us to cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit at SHU,” Sherreik said.
Claudia Emanuele can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.