The Diamond Challenge for High School Entrepreneurs

A real world venture concept competition offering more than $50,000 in prize awards for high school students.

Join us for YES! 2016

The Youth Entrepreneurship Summit (YES!) is a unique full-day conference for youth centered on innovation and entrepreneurship. YES! features interactive workshops, engaging speakers, networking opportunities, and the final round of the Diamond Challenge.  This year, the pitch competition and a number of signature workshops will be streamed in a live webcast! You can also join us for the live event. 


Why Diamond Challenge?

The University of Delaware Horn Program in Entrepreneurship created the Diamond Challenge to provide high school students and young entrepreneurs from around the world with an outstanding opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship while putting their ideas into action. Participants in the Diamond Challenge gain valuable first-hand experience with:

Conceiving an idea for a new business or social venture

Testing the idea by talking to potential customers and gathering evidence to validate the viability of their business or social impact model

Pitching their idea by submitting a written concept and presenting to a panel of judges

Participants also benefit from:

Innovative Video-Based Lessons focused on how to develop ideas, put them into action, and build businesses and social ventures like a scientist

Mentors and Team Advisors who provide valuable feedback while participants maintain responsibility for final decision-making

Opportunities to earn college credit, interact with other student entrepreneurs from around the world and win funding awards to support their business, social venture or education

Competition Tracks & Curriculum

The Diamond Challenge offers two competition tracks:

Business Concept This competition focuses on the development of new, for-profit business models.

Social Venture This competition focuses on the development of new, social impact models that may include revenue-generating nonprofit organizations and mission-driven, for-profit ventures.

Both competitions are supported by an innovative, video-based curriculum and both offer the opportunity for young entrepreneurs to win substantial prize awards.

International Locations

Partner organizations around the world host pitch events as part of the Diamond Challenge’s Business Concept Competition. They also provide additional opportunities for participating students.

International Locations

  • Kenya
  • Uganda
  • Tunisia
  • Georgia
  • Moldova
  • Pakistan
  • Swaziland
  • Rwanda
  • Turkey

Don’t see your country listed?

Start a new location
I enjoyed the Challenge very much; it led me to think outside the box and go out into the community. I never thought that I would have been able to do anything like this, especially not in high school. The Diamond Challenge has opened my eyes to see just how much impact a few people can have.

Partners and Sponsors

Capital One
1313 Innovation - Connecting the local entrepreneurial community
Delaware Department of Education
Jefferson Awards Foundation For Young Entrepreneurial Skills
Delaware Technical Community College
StartUp Africa
Anne Arundel Community College
Anne Arundel County Public Schools
Invento - Creating opportunities for youth
Center for Entrepreneurial Education and Business Support
Education and Management Team for young entrepreneurs