We had an opportunity to chat with Julie Frieswyk, who is the manager for Youth Programs at the University of Delaware, meaning she works directly with the Diamond Challenge. With a wonderfully diverse and interesting story herself, Julie explains that The Diamond Challenge was created by the University of Delaware’s Horn Program in Entrepreneurship as a way to introduce high school students to educational and advancement opportunities. Part of Julie’s, and the Diamond Challenge’s, dedication to their youth programs stems from the fact that 65% of students in primary school right now will have jobs that don’t currently exist (World Economic Forum). One particularly great thing for students is that beyond a venture competition, the Diamond Challenge offers courses for students that also offer college credit. “We want to prepare not only this generation, but future generations on how to navigate the ever-changing landscape,” Julie says with unrelenting passion about the Challenge. On top of this, the Diamond Challenge is a premiere venture competition that attracts attention from all over the world. Students can enter into two different categories: Business Concept or Social Venture. Each category has its own individual focus and competition guidelines. Students must create teams and develop a pitch presentation and are connected with mentors and assistance along every step of the way competing for a share of the $100,000 in grant, scholarship, and prize money.
Students must be enrolled in some form of secondary education
Students can enter either into two different sections: Business Concept or Social Venture
The Diamond Challenge provides a unique opportunity for teens to learn about entrepreneurship while putting their ideas into action. While many entrepreneurship programs focus on principles of small business management, the Diamond Challenge focuses on unleashing creativity, encouraging a mindset of abundance and self-determination, and promoting purposeful entrepreneurial action.
Registration Open Sept. 1st, 2016-Nov. 27th, 2016
Semifinalists—Trip to University of Delaware with $500 prize plus travel expenses ($1,000 award)
Vary across a wide realm of fields
3 rounds, all pitch based
Live Event Component?
All semifinalists travel to University of Delaware to present in person and finalists are given the opportunity to present at the Youth Entrepreneurship Summit
Retracta-Ball Pump—a sports pump with a retractable needle to save from damage or loss
Modern Reflections—creating clothing with a reflective nature that can be viewed from up 70 m away to save pedestrian traffic incidents
Open to anyone in the world (so bring your A-game)