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Diamond Challenge judges panel
Judges from last year’s Diamond Challenge final round competition reviewed the contestants and offered feedback.

Diamond Challenge judges needed

Photo by Horn Staff

High school entrepreneurship competition seeks judges for 2018 season

The Diamond Challenge is seeking “virtual” judges for the preliminary round of its 2018 competition. Created in 2012 by the University of Delaware’s Horn Entrepreneurship, and sponsored by Capital One, the Diamond Challenge is an entrepreneurship competition for high school students that allows teens to learn about entrepreneurship while putting their ideas into action.

“It’s really important for professionals to dedicate their time to initiatives such as the Diamond Challenge,” said Director of Operations of 1313 Innovation, Lauren Spinelli. “The business community needs to connect with young entrepreneurs and vice versa. After all, mentors, capital and support are always needed.”

The competition is divided into a business concept track, which focuses on the development and validation of new business models for generating revenue and profit, and a social innovation track, which focuses on the development of new, social impact models.

The preliminary round is judged remotely, meaning participants submit material on an online portal and a panel of “virtual” judges review it via the Internet. Horn receives team submissions from all over the world, so it is looking for  400 judges for the preliminary round. In the final round, contestants face the judges in person on UD’s campus.

Spinelli, who graduated from UD in 2006 with a degree is mass communication, now works for 1313 Innovation, an entrepreneurial hub in Wilmington that offers coworking space, networking and educational opportunities. She served as a judge for last year’s Diamond Challenge.

“I love the international aspect of the Diamond Challenge,” said Spinelli. “Student’s travel to Delaware from all over the world to pitch their amazing ideas.”

Having reached more than 4,000 students worldwide from over 39 countries and 27 states, the Diamond Challenge was ranked one of the top 29 best international business plan competitions by Alpha Gamma, a business portal for millennials.

Virtual judges for the Diamond Challenge are responsible for providing meaningful feedback to all participants so that they can further develop their ideas, and change the world through entrepreneurship. Throughout the competition process, these judges will be responsible for reviewing five participant submissions.

According to Spinelli, her experience as a judge was meaningful in that it showed “an eagerness to innovate and make change happen now,” among participants.

Aside from the willingness to provide detailed feedback to Diamond Challenge participants, judges should be fluent in the English language, have a business or entrepreneurship education background and have two or more years of professional work experience.

To apply to be a virtual judge visit https://www.tfaforms.com/4628163, or visit the Diamond Challenge website to learn more about the competition and other ways to get involved.

About the Horn Entrepreneurship

Horn Entrepreneurship serves as the University of Delaware’s creative engine for entrepreneurship education and advancement. Built and actively supported by successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders, Horn Entrepreneurship empowers aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs as they pursue new ideas for a better world.


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