A 2013 Dublin Coffman High School graduate left Washington, D.C., last month with the high school Global Student Entrepreneur Award.
Megan Holstein, CEO of Pufferfish Software, currently attends Ohio State University, but was nominated for the global award for work she did in high school.
Pufferfish Software was created when Holstein saw a need for iPad and iPod applications for children with autism.
As a Coffman senior, she was nominated for a Student Innovator award from TechColumbus.
"You can apply without being nominated, but I got nominated," Holstein said of the global entrepreneur honor.
After being nominated by a member of the local chapter of the Entrepreneur's Organization, Holstein submitted a business plan and reports on Pufferfish Software.
"Then I won it on the business plan," she said.
To win the high school student entrepreneur award from the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards, Holstein's business plan had to show an ability to overcome obstacles, clarity of mission, leadership, vision and financial information.
Holstein expected to present her plan before winning the award, but the Entrepreneur's Organization surprised her by flying her to Washington late last month for the awards.
"I was surprised, especially because there was no more," Holstein said.
"They didn't say 'Send us your GPA or do a presentation,' " she said.
The three-day event had competitions for college students and speakers.
While in Washington, Holstein knew she was where she belonged.
"I picked the right career," she said.
"The thing about being an entrepreneur is you always have trouble relating to other people," Holstein said.
"It's such an odd path to take and it's so high risk."
In fact, Holstein said mingling with the other student entrepreneurs made her Holstein feel like she had found her family.
"It's like I'm a unicorn and I just went to the unicorn convention," she said.
Holstein is involved with business at OSU as a pre-business major with an entrepreneurial minor at the Fisher College of Business.
"I got involved with the OSU tech commercialization office," she said.
Holstein is also putting work into creating a new company in her spare time, along with a few other interests such as longboarding and Christian Apologetics.
Plans are also in the works to return to Washington next year with a nomination at the college level, Holstein said.
"I definitely am planning on applying," she said.
"It's been a great experience at the high school level."