University of Delaware
Julie Frieswyk, Horn Program manager of youth programs, with Diamond Challenge participants.

2016 Diamond Challenge

Youth from around the world compete for $50,000 in cash rewards


4:15 p.m., Feb. 11, 2016--More than 1,000 high school students from around the globe are working together in teams to conceive and pitch ideas for new business concepts and social ventures as participants in the 2016 Diamond Challenge for High School Entrepreneurs

The challenge is a signature part of the Paul and Linda McConnell Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative led by the Horn Program in Entrepreneurship at the University of Delaware.

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Students representing 22 countries and 16 states created submissions for either the Business Concept or Social Venture competition. Student teams will then pitch their ideas at live events around the world or via video.

Entrepreneurs and business leaders will select semifinalist teams to compete at the Horn Program’s Youth Entrepreneurship Summit (YES!) at UD on Friday, April 15. A total of $50,000 in cash rewards will be awarded to finalists and semifinalists.

“We are thrilled to reach such a broad and diverse community of high school students through the Diamond Challenge platform,” said Julie Frieswyk, manager of youth programs for the Horn Program. 

“We’re deeply committed to providing young people around the world access to empowering educational programs and experiences that will unleash their creativity, encourage innovative thinking and inspire students to put their talents and dreams into action to create value for themselves and others.”

Participating students received access to an online curriculum in entrepreneurship developed and presented by Horn Program faculty. Students were also partnered with mentors to guide and support their development. These mentors included business leaders, successful entrepreneurs and many members of the UD community.

"The Diamond Challenge dares students to think creatively, collaborate effectively and work persistently to create a product that will change the world,” said John Downey, a senior at Christian Brothers Academy in Lincroft, New Jersey. “The access to great mentors is also an incredibly useful tool for students looking to fine-tune a proposal or ask for an educated opinion."

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