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International reach

International reach

UD high school entrepreneur competition expands globally

The University of Delaware Horn Program in Entrepreneurship’s Diamond Challenge for High School Entrepreneurs has expanded to 18 pitch site locations around the world, up from 10 last year.

“We welcome new pitch site partners from Philadelphia and Los Angeles in the U.S. and Ukraine, China, Botswana, Jamaica and Guatemala,” said Julie Frieswyk, Horn Program youth initiative lead. “We have partners who have been working with us for multiple years, where we’ve seen the program growing in their communities and making a positive impact on their innovation ecosystems.”

In addition to the new locations, domestic Diamond Challenge pitch site locations include Wilmington, Dover and Georgetown in Delaware, Danville and La Jolla in California, and Arnold, Maryland.

International pitch locations include cities in China, Georgia, Kenya, Moldova, Pakistan and Uganda in addition to the new locations. More than 30 countries applied for a Diamond Challenge pitch location in their country with just 10 selected.

The Diamond Challenge is a global venture concept competition that allows teams of students to work together to launch their own ventures in the hopes of winning startup funding or money toward higher education.

Frieswyk added that including participants from so many cultures is “an amazing experience for everyone involved. The students get to grow their networks on an international scale, and have a great time in an innovative learning environment.”

The competition is split into two tracks: social venture and business concept.

The social venture competition focuses on the development of new social impact models, including revenue-generating nonprofit organizations and mission-driven for-profit ventures.

The business concept competition focuses on the development of new for-profit business models with a focus on solving a relevant customer problem.

Both competitions are supported by an innovative video-based curriculum that teaches participants how to conceive an idea for a new business or social venture, gather evidence to validate their idea and pitch their idea by submitting a written concept and presenting it to a panel of judges.

Registration and access to the curriculum are free. Teams of 2-4 students from around the world are eligible to participate if they are enrolled in a secondary school or educational program and have a teacher, parent or community member who is willing to serve as the adviser.

For more information, visit the Diamond Challenge website.

The Diamond Challenge is part of the programs in the Paul and Linda McConnell Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative.

About the Horn Program in Entrepreneurship

The Horn Program in Entrepreneurship ignites imaginations and empowers world changers through entrepreneurial education.

The program’s offerings emphasize experiential learning, evidence-based entrepreneurship and active engagement with entrepreneurs, business leaders and members of the broader entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Participation in Horn Program courses and co-curricular activities empowers students by providing them with the knowledge, skills, connections and access to resources needed to successfully manifest innovation and thrive in a rapidly changing world


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