Horn Entrepreneurship


The Diamond Challenge was created through Horn Entrepreneurship, a cornerstone for entrepreneurial activity based at the University of Delaware. We empower students in high school and beyond through entrepreneurial education and enrichment opportunities in order for students to create, capture, and deliver value from new ideas, regardless of their future career path. To learn more about how Horn can help you in your journey, click here.

The team

Dan Freeman

Program Coordinator, Youth Programs “Quote about entrepreneurship!”

Julie Frieswyk

Manager, Youth Programs

“Quote about entrepreneurship!”

Rachel Strauss

Program Coordinator, Youth Programs “Quote about entrepreneurship!”

Linda You

Program Assistant, Diamond Challenge

“Quote about entrepreneurship!”

Why We Do What We Do

The Paul & Linda McConnell Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative

was launched in 2014 to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurial thinkers and includes the Diamond Challenge, Youth Entrepreneurship Summit (YES!) and dual enrollment opportunities.

The Diamond Challenge is the cornerstone of the Paul & Linda McConnell Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative at the University of Delaware Horn Program in Entrepreneurship. The initiative aims to inspire the next generation of world-changers by providing world-class educational experiences centered on creativity, innovation and action-oriented programming.

Youth offerings are based on the emerging science of entrepreneurship – a combination of academic research as well as real-world and industry best practices – which emphasizes evidence over individual experience and isolated studies. Since 2012, more than 3,500 young people have participated in our youth programs, which are rated as highly valuable by high school students and educators from around the world.

You can learn more about the initiative and about the Horn Program by visiting the website.

Unique Impact

Evidence-based entrepreneurship

The Diamond Challenge provides an age-appropriate introduction to state-of-the-art best practices for entrepreneurship, which focus on the use of evidence-based and lean startup methods.

Learning to be entrepreneurial

The Diamond Challenge curriculum focuses on helping students develop an entrepreneurial mindset and gain firsthand experience with the entrepreneurial process to empower them to be entrepreneurial in whatever careers they may choose. Successful ventures are great, but empowerment through experiential learning is the primary goal.

Real-world engagement

Participants have the opportunity to connect with near peer mentors and judges to enhance their Diamond Challenge experience and understanding of the problem. Students are encouraged to interview prospective customers to gather evidence, and will receive feedback on their submissions from practicing entrepreneurs, business professionals, and community leaders.

MORE than starting small businesses

Entrepreneurship is the process of creating, delivering and capturing value from new ideas. The Diamond Challenge’s Venturing for Good curriculum highlights the relevance of entrepreneurship in the development of sustainable solutions to important societal and environmental problems.

Pathways to higher education

The Diamond Challenge is produced by University of Delaware Horn Entrepreneurship and offers supplemental opportunities for earning college credit. It also awards prize money to top teams that can be used to pursue further education at any college or university in the world.

Connecting with like-minded peers

Final rounds of the Diamond Challenge competition are hosted at the University of Delaware during a 3-day Youth Entrepreneurship Summit (YES!) to facilitate the formation of lasting connections with like-minded peers from around the world.

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