International Franchise Association Foundation Announces Grand Prize Winners of 2019 NextGen in Franchising Global Competition

International Franchise Association Foundation Announces Grand Prize Winners of 2019 NextGen in Franchising Global Competition

Of hundreds of applicants from around the world, top four millennial entrepreneurs receive investment to grow their businesses

Washington, DC  (  The International Franchise Association’s (IFA) Foundation announced today the grand prize winners of its 2019 NextGen in Franchising Global Competition — established by founding sponsor David McKinnon, CFE — which was held at IFA’s 59th Annual Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. The four millennial entrepreneurs, who hailed from the United States, Philippines, Australia, and Kenya, were selected from a group of 12 winners of the Global Competition, a worldwide program that engages millennial entrepreneurs seeking to grow their businesses through the franchise business model, and the only start-up business accelerator in the world focused on franchising.

Former Fortune 50 CEO and 2016 Presidential Candidate Carly Fiorina led a panel of judges for the final round of the Global Competition — which was sponsored by the Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation and Subway International — on Wednesday, Feb. 27, when each participant pitched their business concept to Fiorina and a panel of industry experts, as part of a convention with nearly 4,000 attendees, for the chance to win an investment of $5,000 – $10,000 to help grow their business. In addition to Carly, judges included Suzanne DeLuca Greco, board member of the Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation, and Shelly Sun, CFE, CEO and Founder of Brightstar Franchising LLC.

“I have counseled numerous entrepreneurs and business leaders throughout my career and can honestly say the 2019 NextGen in Franchising Global Competition winners are an incredibly talented group with bright futures ahead of them,” said Carly. “It was an honor to share my experiences and advice on how to persevere as a leader as they move their businesses forward, continue to expand, and inspire the lives of many throughout their journey.”

This year, Jeremy Hassell, founder of City Cave, took home first place, which included a $10,000 cash prize. Princess Diana Rosario, founder of What’s Your FLAN?, and Brooke Gagliano, founder of Frutta Bowls each received $5,000. The judges also awarded a $5,000 prize to Venuste Kubwimana, founder of A Water Kiosk at School, a social enterprise franchise.

“We are extremely excited to be announced as the 2019 NextGen winners amongst some of the worlds greatest talent. It’s unbelievable to think our franchise from little old Brisbane in Australia has taken the big prize,” said Hassell. “Our biggest win here is the friends, mentors and networks we have been exposed to and can not wait to implement all we’ve learned into our franchise model. We look forward to returning to the conference next year and couldn’t be more thankful to the IFA Foundation for this incredible opportunity.”

Since the program’s inception in 2015, over 2,500 millennial entrepreneurs from more than 75 countries have applied. Many NextGen winners have been featured in top business publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Inc., and Fast Company, among others.

“What I love about the NextGen in Franchising Global Competition is that, each year, our winners truly represent the future of our industry. They have embraced franchising and are passionate about empowering others to go into business for themselves, but not by themselves,” said David McKinnon, CFE, founding sponsor of the NextGen in Franchising program. “These are some of the brightest young entrepreneurs I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and I am excited to see how they leverage the knowledge gained and connections made over the last few days to grow their businesses.”

The 2019 NextGen in Franchising Winners competing in the final round were:

  • Brooke Gagliano, Frutta Bowls (United States) – Brooke graduated from Drew University in 2014 majoring in business with a minor in biology and art. After college, Brooke used her passion for athletic education to start her own business training sports teams and clients, which is where she was first introduced to acai. While on a trip out west, Brooke had her first acai bowl and the idea for Frutta Bowls was born. With the support of her friends and family, she opened her first store in May 2016 in Howell, New Jersey, at age 23 with cofounder Chris Ives. The Frutta Bowls dream started as a local idea with two locations. It has since grown into a nationwide concept, continuing to positively affect many lives along the way. Frutta Bowls sets itself apart by not only its commitment to providing healthy and delicious food, but also by its involvement in the communities surrounding each location.
  • Princess Diana Rosario, What’s Your Flan? (Philippines) – Princess is the founder of What’s Your Flan?, a company founded in 2016 that is the product of her passion for cooking. What’s Your Flan? serves original mouthwatering desserts that are all freshly made, natural, and have no food coloring or preservatives. From humble beginnings and 14 failed businesses, she was shaped to be a better business owner, influencing the launch of her Philippines-based business designed to help fellow entrepreneurs have the opportunity to become their own boss. After two hardworking years of business, What’s Your Flan? has expanded from a single location to 70 franchisees nationwide, one international franchise in Dubai UAE, and hundreds of registered resellers.
  • Jeremy Hassell, City Cave (Australia) – Recognizing the need for a health and wellness center that focused on longevity and total well-being of individuals, Jeremy Hassell launched City Cave in Australia with cofounder Tim Butters. Since the opening of its first location in 2016, City Cave has grown to offer a combination of holistic and clinical services tailored to each guest’s needs and provides the ideal space for relaxing and meditation. From float therapy to infrared saunas and yoga, City Cave aims to deliver the perfect facility that adds years of quality life to those in the community. Today, City Cave has 4 locations across Australia, with plans to continue its expansion.
  • Venuste Kubimana, A Water Kiosk At School (Kenya) – Named amongst Africa’s Top 50 Innovators in 2018 and AIDF Global Innovator of the Year, Venuste Kubwimana is a youth activist and social entrepreneur based in Kenya. He is the Founder and Secretary General of the International Transformation Foundation, a parent organization of the franchising initiative A Water Kiosk at School launched by Venuste in 2014. He was inspired by personal experiences growing up in communities where students walk long distances to gather water for their families before and after going to school. As a result, many children in the area have a high tendency to drop out of school in order to meet their needs. A Water Kiosk at School is a school-based and student-managed business selling clean tap water to community residents at an affordable price. It is both an educational and profitable business teaching students business and entrepreneurial skills and generating much-needed income for schools.

The additional 2019 NextGen in Franchising winners include: Abedalrahman AL-Zghoul, Bread for Education (Jordan); Gamal Albinsaid, Garbage Clinical Insurance (Indonesia); Jason Dolan, Core9 Fitness (Australia); Reka Oszlanczi, Creppy Franchise System (Hungary); Rihab Hasanain, Blooming B’s (Saudi Arabia); Ruth Agbaji, Code Wiz (United States); Samuel Munguti, Farmers Pride (Kenya); and Timea Vas, Don’t Panic English (Hungary).

NextGen winners received a spot at the NextGen in Franchising Summit, an educational and networking program for next generation entrepreneurs at the IFA Annual Convention, a year membership with the IFA; an opportunity to participate in the final round of the NextGen in Franchising Global Competition for a chance to win a monetary investment to help grow their businesses; and opportunities to network with leading franchisors, franchisees and suppliers and with other young entrepreneurs.

The NextGen in Franchising program is made possible due to the generosity of its donors and sponsors, which include David McKinnon, the founding sponsor; the Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation/Subway; the Stewart & Jane Bainum Fund; Lawrence “Doc” Cohen, Doc & Associates; J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation; Tariq Farid, Edible Arrangements; Charlie Chase, FirstService Brands; Aziz Hashim, NRD Holdings; Joe Bourdow, Valpak; Tony Valle, ELM Perform; Dave Mortensen, Anytime Fitness; and Melanie Bergeron, Two Men & A Truck Intl.

For more information about the NextGen in Franchising Global Competition, please contact Gionne Jones at or +1 (202) 662-0772. 

About the IFA Foundation

Celebrating 36 years of education, research and excellence, the International Franchise Association (IFA) Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization and supported through the generous contributions of IFA members and others. The Foundation’s mission is to advance franchising and the free enterprise system by increasing the knowledge and professional standards of all members of the franchising community; educating the next generation of franchise practitioners; increasing recognition of franchising’s key role in the free enterprise system; and providing comprehensive information and research about important developments and trends in franchising.

About the International Franchise Association

Celebrating 58 years of excellence, education and advocacy, the International Franchise Association is the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. IFA works through its government relations and public policy, media relations and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising and the more than 733,000 franchise establishments that support nearly 7.6 million direct jobs, $674.3 billion of economic output for the U.S. economy and 2.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees and companies that support the industry in marketing, law, technology and business development.

Chelsea Bear
Fish Consulting

Gionne Jones
IFA Foundation