VU student takes global entrepreneur award with bird safety project

The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) named 24-year-old Steinar Henskes the Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year for his work as CEO of the Birds Control Group. The Vrije Universiteit student beat out 2,000 other participants from 38 countries in a series of national and regional contests, the organization said.

Henskes won the 20,000 dollar top prize, given to support him in his entrepreneurial initiative. "What an unbelievable journey not only to start a business as a student, but to win the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards, it’s a dream come true," Henskes said.

He started the Birds Control Group in 2012 to design solutions for keeping birds away from dangerous areas using animal-safe lasers. In three years, the company expanded to 52 countries with installations at Amsterdam Schiphol airport and London City Airport. The laser system is recognized by the World Wildlife Fund for its effectiveness and animal friendliness.

"Being part of the global EO family means that I have access to 10,000 members and a network of entrepreneurs that will help me lead Bird Control Group for years to come. I’m grateful, excited and a little overwhelmed with it all," he added.