Diamond Challenge

An innovative entrepreneurship competition for high school students offering $100,000 in awards

Why the Diamond Challenge?

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.

Created by the University of Delaware Horn Program in Entrepreneurship in 2012, the Diamond Challenge is backed by serious academic grounding in state-of-the-art entrepreneurship education methodologies.

The Diamond Challenge is proudly sponsored by:

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Participants 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

See Last Year's Results!

BUSINESS CONCEPT COMPETITION

1st Place

Winners

Nathan Wagener, Gabriel Werner (USA)

Idea

Retracta-Ball Pump
A ball pump that allows the needle to retract back into the pump, preventing the needle from being lost or damaged. This aims to save athletes time from last-minute needle replacement runs, as well as money.

2nd Place

Winners

Philip Lee, Julian Davis, Rostam Reifschneider (USA)

Idea

Polar Solis
A windshield that diffracts sun glare by adjusting color and brightness to counteract the fluctuation in levels of UV light.

3rd Place

Winners

Aditya Ganapathi, David Hou (USA)

Idea

Notifica
A unique security company that offers two products: one to address women’s safety and another to revolutionize the in-home monitoring assets.

SOCIAL VENTURE COMPETITION

1st Place

Winners

Ludmila Zgurean, Vladlen Grecu, Daniela Tihon, and Victoria Bradescu (Moldova)

Idea

Do it for Bunica
A website where migrant workers from Moldova can find and pay local youth helpers to assist elderly family members with chores, solving two problems: youth unemployment and the impact of migration on family left behind.

2nd Place

Winners

Nicole Birkner, Diego Uribe (Costa Rica)

Idea

Fresquiticos
A service that provides the consumer with a soda that utilizes the benefits and avoids the disadvantages of traditional sodas by blending healthy ingredients such as fruits and agave nectar.

3rd Place

Winners

Michael Chan, Emily Yu (USA)

Idea

MentourU
A web-based service that creates a network of college students, allowing high school seniors moving onto higher education to ask for genuine advice, information regarding their major, or simply about student life on campus.

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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.

U.S. Locations

Partner organizations work with the Diamond Challenge team to host pitch events. In the process, they act as a catalyst for entrepreneurial ecosystems within their classrooms, schools and communities.
  • Arnold, MD
  • Danville, CA
  • Dover, DE
  • El Segundo, CA
  • La Jolla, CA
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Wilmington, DE

International Locations

Partner organizations around the world host pitch events and provide additional opportunities for participating students. In the process, they participate in building their local entrepreneurial ecosystems.
  • Botswana
  • China
  • Georgia
  • Guatemala
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya
  • Moldova
  • Pakistan
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
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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.