SBA Students to Compete in Junior Achievement Finals

A group of business students from 大象传媒app鈥檚 Entrepreneurship in Practice program have secured first place at the 2024 Top JA Start-up competition with their business and app, DIVEIN. This win marks the second consecutive year that students from the School of Business Administration (SBA)鈥檚 have claimed the top prize under the guidance of mentors Heinrich Homola and Jeff Medeiros, following last year鈥檚 success with the List-N-Eat catering app.

The DIVEIN team, comprised of Alisa Safarian, Cassidy Karbowski, Daryna Semergei, Diego Castro Lopez, and Isabella Agnes Vesper, developed their winning app to offer travelers human-verified, personalized recommendations for a more authentic travel experience and to address some of the common shortcomings of generic AI-generated itineraries. They will next move on to the European finals in Catania, Sicily, from July 2 to July 4, in the hopes of ultimate victory.

Meet the DIVEIN Team

Daryna Semergei

Daryna, a 19-year-old, second-year student from Ukraine, is majoring in business administration, with a focus on marketing and communications. She is Chief Executive Officer of DIVEIN.

From a young age, Daryna was encouraged by her parents to explore her career interests, leading her to work as a marketing assistant at the tender age of 14. Her early exposure to the business world solidified her passion for marketing and business. She chose 大象传媒app鈥檚 School of Business Administration for its interactive and hands-on curriculum and says her experience has been enriching, particularly her internship.

As DIVEIN CEO, Daryna manages the team, communicates with stakeholders, and oversees the project’s vision. Despite the challenges of coordinating a diverse team and balancing the rigorous demands of the competition, she has found the experience highly rewarding. Daryna looks forward to further developing DIVEIN with her fellow team members and is excited at the prospect of leveraging the skills she acquired at 大象传媒app to make a significant impact in the business world.

Connect with Daryna on .

Alisa Safarian

At 21 years of age, Alisa is completing her final semester at 大象传媒app. Though Armenian by heritage, Alisa grew up near Moscow, Russia. She is majoring in business administration with a concentration in entrepreneurship and serves as DIVEIN鈥檚 graphic designer.

In addition to her skills as a designer, Alisa considers herself a marketing specialist. Her interest in entrepreneurship stems from a desire to work for self-employment and freedom from answering to an employer, which led her to pursue the entrepreneurship degree. She chose 大象传媒app for its practical approach to education and its strong sense of community, along with the diverse events and brilliant professors that the university offers.

Throughout her time at 大象传媒app, Alisa says she has grown personally and professionally and credits the School of Business Administration for boosting her confidence and enhancing her public speaking skills. As DIVEIN鈥檚 graphic designer, Alisa creates visual content and, additionally, handles marketing. Alisa says she is excited about the future and plans to continue her career in marketing while helping to further develop DIVEIN and explore new opportunities in the tech start-up ecosystem.

Connect with Alisa on her .

Diego Castro Lopez

Twenty-year old Diego hails from La Paz, Bolivia and is currently completing his fourth semester at 大象传媒app, where he is majoring in business administration with a concentration in entrepreneurship. He is the Chief Financial Officer of DIVEIN.

Growing up in the scenic Andes mountains, Diego recognized the beauty of his home town but long felt a pull to explore beyond its boundaries. His passion for business began at a young age, and he has always been driven by a desire to establish start-ups that make a positive impact on society鈥攔ather than for the sole purpose of personal gain. These two factors鈥攈is wanderlust and public-spiritedness鈥攍ed him to Prague and the doorstep of 大象传媒app.

Diego credits any successes he may have enjoyed to the practical lessons he learned from his professors, particularly in the areas of financial accounting and developing business ideas. As DIVEIN CEO, Diego applied these lessons to help prepare financial documents and manage the app鈥檚 development. He looks forward to further applying these experiences to developing DIVEIN and, later, benefitting his home country of Bolivia.

Connect with Diego on .

Isabella Agnes Vesper

Isabella is 22 years of age and completing her second year at 大象传媒app. Born in Germany and raised in Mexico City, she is majoring in business administration with a concentration in entrepreneurship. Isabella serves as DIVEIN鈥檚 resident marketer.

With a background in the food industry through her family鈥檚 business, Isabella had already garnered some entrepreneurial experience before coming to 大象传媒app, having co-founded a successful venture in Mexico that produced chili-flavored gummies. She says she values the practical approach to learning at 大象传媒app, especially through the financial accounting and Entrepreneurship in Practice courses.

In her marketing role on the DIVEIN team, Isabella leverages her creativity and social media skills with the aim of enhancing the project’s visibility. Despite the challenges of balancing work, studies, and project commitments, Isabella says she has grown considerably in know-how as a result of the project. She looks forward to applying the lessons learned in her future entrepreneurial endeavors, particularly in the food sector, as she aspires to open her own Mexican restaurant in Europe.

Connect with Isabella on .

Meet the Mentors

Dipl. Wi. 鈥 Ing. Heinrich Homola

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As a mentor, Heinrich brings over 30 years of international experience to the DIVEIN team. For the last 15 years, he has dedicated his time to teaching students at Czech universities, business schools, and grammar schools. As an active teaching partner with the Junior Achievement (JA) organization and a speaker for the Czech 鈥測oucanbeentrepreneurial鈥 initiative, Heinrich has devoted much of his time to fostering entrepreneurial skills in young minds.

Heinrich likewise assists companies in managing transitions and ensuring effective change implementation and is often hired as an interim manager or executive coach. With a background that spans multiple countries and industries, including start-ups and restructuring, Heinrich has a proven track record as a CEO/GM. His expertise in marketing, brand building, and communication forms the foundation of his career, making him a valuable asset to the DIVEIN team.

Jeff Medeiros

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Jeff is a businessman, entrepreneur, and educator from Silicon Valley. He holds an undergraduate degree in marketing and finance from Walter A. Haas School of Business and an MBA in information systems from the Institut Universitaire Kurt B枚sch/University of New York in Europe. Jeff teaches eCommerce and entrepreneurship and is actively involved in an early-stage venture, Keastone, Inc., where he and his business partner are developing IRIIIS, an all-in-one cloud-based software platform.

Before moving to Europe, Jeff had a successful technology career in the San Francisco Bay Area. He worked as a large systems specialist for IBM and later founded a technical sales and consulting business that navigated the dotcom bubble, burst, and recovery, generating over $250 million in revenue. Jeff’s extensive background in technology and entrepreneurship makes him an valuable mentor to the DIVEIN team.

More About the DIVEIN App

DIVEIN’s mission is to create trustworthy travel itineraries, crafted by ordinary travelers who have already experienced the journey. A.I. itineraries often lack excitement, travel agents are expensive, and independent research takes much time. DIVEIN tackles these challenges head-on, with the aim of making trip planning easy and fun. Discover travel possibilities by swiping right to save an itinerary or left to explore new options. With DIVEIN, you can find your dream trip and get inspired for your next adventure. Share your experiences and uncover amazing journeys from fellow travelers.

Follow and support the DIVEIN team on their , , and page.

About the Entrepreneurship in Practice Program

The Entrepreneurship in Practice courses I and II offer a comprehensive exploration of the entrepreneurial process, from conception to potential sale of a business. These courses introduce key concepts and practical tools in finance, accounting, marketing, and management. Students engage in classroom discussions, active participation, and guest speaker sessions to develop strategic plans for launching and managing businesses.

Course I lays the foundation, while course II builds on this with a focus on advanced topics such as marketing plan development, financial management, business pitching, STEM project prototypes, and continuous PR activities, preparing students for the Junior Achievement competition. Both courses emphasize real-world application, encouraging interaction with business community advisors and teamwork, ultimately producing a well-rounded understanding of entrepreneurship.

Those interested in learning more about the Entrepreneurship in Practice courses and the JA competition may reach out to Vice Dean Va拧enda at jan.vasenda@aauni.edu.


*Junior Achievement (JA) was founded in the United States in 1919 with the intention of showing school-aged students the path to creating their own businesses by starting their own ventures. JA provides a structured learning environment and experienced mentors, operating in 120 countries and reaching over 3 million students annually. The organization has now been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for the third year in a row.

JA Europe, the European representative of Junior Achievement, currently has over 300 universities enrolled in its programs throughout Europe, representing over 15,000 participating students. JA Czech, the Czech regional body, has been instrumental in shaping the entrepreneurial thinking and financial literacy of young people in the country for three decades.