Student’s smoothie business is going places

Tasty effort

Kostas Sousoulas' smoothie business is heading to a national entrepreneurship competition in March.

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ostas Sousoulas, a sophomore in the entrepreneurship and small business management program, believes that people would eat healthier if nutritious food and drinks were more conveniently available—perhaps as quick and accessible as a smoothie from a food truck.

So, he created a business that does just that. His company, Yimello Smoothies, sells pre-packaged gourmet fruit smoothies—in South Beach, Berry Good Breakfast and Strawberry Banana Blast flavors—from a food truck. He is currently developing partnerships with grocery retailers to sell his all-natural products in area stores.

“Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been intrigued with health and food. My family is in the food business and I wanted to make it more convenient and more affordable for people to eat healthy,” said Sousoulas, from Branford, Connecticut. “The product caters to people on the go.”

He’s developed a pretty good business plan—so good, he won the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards competition held in Norwalk in November. On March 6, he’ll head to Kansas City, Montana, to compete in the GSEA national competition. The winner in Kansas City will be one of 50 student entrepreneurs from around the world who will compete in the global finals in Frankfurt, Germany, in April 2017 for prizes worth about $400,000.

“I feel inspired and humbled to have this opportunity to share my product with the incredible judges of the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards and to represent my school and state,” Sousoulas said. 

“I hope to share my passion with other young entrepreneurs and to learn what drives others to be entrepreneurs.”
Kostas Sousoulas, a sophomore in the entrepreneurship and small business management program

The GSEA is a global competition for student entrepreneurs who own and operate a for-profit business while attending college or university. To compete, the student’s business must have been operating for at least six months and must have generated $500 or received $1,000 in investments.

During the state competition, Sousoulas gave a 15-minute presentation and then respond to questions from the judges. The national competition will be in the same format. Sousoulas is working hard to land a spot in the international competition.

“I feel that it is important to compete on the global level in order to keep a world perspective, since business transcends borders,” he said. “It is also incredible to see what other entrepreneurs are doing around the world. I hope to share my passion with other young entrepreneurs and to learn what drives others to be entrepreneurs.” 

Product testing

Sousoulas tests his smoothie mixes at home.