ICSB Academy Cup 2022

In-Person • Washington, DC • July 3-8, 2022

Entrepreneurship 2022

Getting started in a new world

The International Council for Small Business (ICSB) and George Washington University (GWU) are delighted to invite you to our 7th annual ICSB Academy in Washington, D.C. This intensive bootcamp gathers students from around the world together for a week-long experience designed to challenge, stimulate, and build entrepreneurial skills. Based on the philosophy that organizations, including businesses, exist to meet the needs of our communities and society, and grounded in the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the Academy will emphasize the triple bottom line: profit, people, and planet.


Let's invent the future together.

  • Washington D.C. is at the center of policy making in the United States and embodies the entrepreneurial spirit of our ICSB members and mission. At this year’s ICSB Academy, participants are able to explore the Washington D.C. entrepreneurial ecosystem with site visits and international networking events.
  • This July, you have the opportunity to discuss with policymakers, entrepreneurs, and a leading faculty to discover the answers to the challenges facing society and actively build a more humane future of business.
This year, all teams will be competing for the ICSB Academy Cup.

Academy participants form teams, are assigned a mentor, then prepare a business pitch to be evaluated by an independent judging panel on Friday, July 8th. The winning team receives a prestigious ICSB Cup and joins the ICSB Gala for a celebration.


Throughout the week, teams attend workshops, visit incredible partners, and work exclusively with a team mentor. This is a high-energy, competitive environment with great learning opportunities, enabling you to create friendships for a lifetime!

Current Teams

*More teams to be announced soon.

Global Dragons

Mentor: Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy

World Badgers

Mentor: Dr. Winslow Sargeant

Intergalactic Pyramids

Mentor: Mr. Ahmed Osman

Mighty Pirates

Mentor: Dr. Katia Passerini

Academy Objectives

Academy Approach

ICSB Academy Cup 2022 Program

Sunday - July 3, 2022 Welcome/ Start-Up Ideation & Explore D.C.
Monday - July 4, 2022Fourth of July Festivities
Tuesday - July 5, 2022Thinking Business with the ICSB Marketplace
Wednesday - July 6, 2022Meeting the Experts on Policy Day #1
Thursday - July 7, 2022Policy Day #2
Friday - July 8, 2022Pitching Your Project / Gala
Meet your host—GWU School of Business

Located in the heart of the United States capital, George Washington University (GWU) is a vibrant and integral part of the Washington, D.C. community. The unique location of this university allows students and community members to learn and grow among the nation’s chief policy makers and entrepreneurs.

Skye Blanks

Academy Program Director

Skye Blanks serves as a Senior Project Manager for the International Council for Small Business (ICSB), and serves as the Director of the Knowledge Hubs (KHubs) project, which are institutions or networks, dedicated to capture, share and exchange development experiences with national and international partners in order to accelerate development for micro-small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). He also specializes in the ICSB’s Entrepreneurship certificate programs. 


In addition to being a Senior Project Manager, Skye is a Presidential Fellow at The George Washington University and is pursuing an MBA from the George Washington School of Business. Established in 1989, the Presidential Fellowship Program (PAF) is a two-year commitment which combines classroom education, professional experiences, and ambassadorial interaction with University leadership, faculty, staff, and alumni to provide an excellent learning experience in leadership and administration.


 Skye currently holds a BA in International Affairs with a concentration in International Development from The George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs. 


Before dedicating his work towards the ICSB, Skye worked abroad as a Research and Development Intern for the Barcelona based NGO, Asociación Bienestar y Desarrollo.


Skye also served as a Treasury Scholar, working in the US Department of Treasury’s Office of Development Results and Accountability, within the Office of International Affairs, where he helped to analyze international economic development policies and review country strategies, projects, and evaluations for the Multilateral Development Banks.



Past ICSB Academies

2021 Academy hosted in Paris, France
2019 Academy hosted in Cairo, Egypt