GSE: A Program You Need To Know About

As you know, we enjoy sharing tips to keep you safe when working with technology but today we want to share something a little different and very special.

We want to bring your attention to a pioneering program, The West Virginia Governor's School for Entrepreneurship (GSE for short) which sponsors youth entrepreneurship within the state; a program which until recently, was unknown to us.

It started with a phone call to the Tekswift support line. The caller, a well-spoken, highly respectful young man (and frankly pretty brave given this was a cold call) Billy Tobin, shared that he and his team were searching for a computer monitor to support their business idea. The monitor was to serve as proof-of-concept for an innovative product called Polarized Privacy.

Polarized Privacy Team Photo

The Polarized Privacy Team: Billy Tobin, Sandrik Tabidze, Mouhammad Sissoko

Billy explained their technology would completely obfuscate the display on their products, showing only a blank white screen to onlookers, while users donning a specialty pair of glasses would be able to see the monitor clearly.

We were sold, this sounded too cool to pass up. After providing a monitor to the Polarized Privacy team, Tekswift soon received a demo video showing just how awesome the product is. Check it out.

The Polarized Privacy team and other's foray into business was made possible by volunteers, guest speakers and not least, administrators of the GSE. But what is the Governor's School?

As described on the GSE website:

"[GSE] is for high school students currently in ninth through eleventh grades. Young innovators learn how to create a scalable business model based on market feedback - and then have the opportunity to pitch and start the business."

The School of Entrepreneurship is one of four Governor's Schools in West Virginia (full list here, bottom of page) run by the Office of Secretary of Education and the Arts. This year's participants were ushered onto the grounds of WVU for a three week long, on-campus stay within the dorms, which is assuredly a very exciting proposition for high school students.

The Dean of the GSE at WVU, and Assistant Director of the Brickstreet Center for Innovation & EntrepreneurshipJulia Bolt was happy to share some of her time to shed more light on how the program came to fruition. Julia holds a master's degree in Integrated Marketing Communications. Her background in public relations, communications, and marketing provide the experience and talents that power the vision of this program.

"Small business and entrepreneurship are going to save our state."
-Julia Bolt

Julia's efforts to bring the program to WVU began with her role in directing the WV Collegiate Business Plan Competition and the WV High School Business Plan Competition. Both programs are open to students within the state of West Virginia; promoting business in hospitality & tourism, lifestyle & innovation, and STEM.

Upon learning of the GSE's inaugural establishment at Marshall University, Julia quickly reached out to bring the program to Morgantown.

Ms. Bolt travels the state promoting these programs, which are focused on shaping young entrepreneurs and growing small business for West Virginia. Julia told us that the Polarized Privacy team was awarded the Best Overall Team at this year's competition.

2017 GSE at WVU Polarized Privacy

Pictured: Billy Tobin (right) of Polarized Privacy

Tekswift extends a special congratulations to Billy and his team.

For more information about the Governor's School programs, and to find out how you can support entrepreneurship for West Virginia, visit the GSE site by clicking here.

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