Rounds of the Diamond Challenge

1

Submission Round

 

2

Pitching Round

 

3

Semifinal Round

 

4

Top 20

 

5

Final Round

 

prizes

Semifinalists receive an invitation to travel to the University of Delaware to compete in the semifinal round. Top prizes include additional funding that may be used to support the team’s idea or serve as a scholarship to attend any school in the world.

Semifinalists are awarded an in-kind prize package worth up to approximately $2,100 per team that includes tickets to the Summit, hotel accommodations for up to three nights, meals during the conference, and access to speakers, mentors and innovators.

The Diamond Challenge is not responsible for covering any costs associated with traveling to or from the Summit. Semifinalists must identify the necessary funding to and from the Summit in order to attend.

 

Top Prize Awards

1

1st Place

A prize package worth over $13,000, including the $2,100 in-kind semifinalist prize package

2

2nd Place

A prize package worth over $9,000, including the $2,100 in-kind semifinalist prize package

3

3rd Place

A prize package worth over $5,500, including the $2,100 in-kind semifinalist prize package

Eligibility & Cost

Students

High school students around the world can compete in the Diamond Challenge.

Free to Compete

The Diamond Challenge is a completely free competition.

Competition Tracks

Business Innovation

If the primary purpose is to solve a customer problem that by doing so will generate revenue and profit, then the business innovation competition is right for you.The business innovation competition focuses on the development and validation of new business models.

Social Innovation

If the primary purpose is to solve a social problem and make a positive impact on people or the environment, then the social innovation competition is right for you.The social innovation competition focuses on the development of new, social innovation models that may include revenue-generating nonprofit organizations and mission-driven, for-profit ventures.

SUBMISSION ROUND REQUIREMENTS

Written Concept

Student teams are required to submit no longer than a 5-page written concept.

Pitch Deck

Student teams are required to submit a pitch deck comprised of no more than 15 slides.

PITCHING ROUND REQUIREMENTS

Pitch

Invited virtual teams will submit a recorded pitch video. Invited live teams will present an in-person pitch.

Global Impact

Click on a location to learn more about our pitch events hosted all around the globe

Partner organizations around the world work with the Diamond Challenge team to host pitch events and provide additional opportunities for participating students. In the process, pitch event hosts act as a catalyst for building local entrepreneurial ecosystems within their classrooms, schools and communities.

Diamond Challenge Schedule

August 31
2018

Registration Opens

One person per team: Register for your entire team and find an adult advisor!

December 30
2018

Submissions Close

Submit your written concept and pitch deck before the deadline!

January 4 – January 20
2019

Submission Round Virtual Judging

Online Diamond Challenge judges will review participant submissions and determine who moves on in the competition. Participants will be notified if they are invited to pitch after submission round virtual judging concludes.

February 1 – March 10
2019

Pitching Round

Judges will score invited virtual team pitch videos and invited live team pitches to determine who becomes a semifinalist.

April 13 – 15
2019

Diamond Challenge Summit

Semifinalists pitch live at the University of Delaware during the culminating event. Students, educators, and supporters from all around the world come together to engage with entrepreneurship education through mentoring sessions, workshops, pop-up challenges, speakers, panels, and more during our three-day global conference.

Past Competitions

2018

BUSINESS INNOVATION COMPETITION

1st Place

Winners

Ishan Kasat, Max Medroso, Joseph Sun, Saman Verma (USA)

Idea

H2ydratiOn
An environmentally friendly filter for the removal of heavy metals, such as cadmium, lead, mercury, and copper, from water.

2nd Place

Winners

Andrew Cramer, Samarth Gowda (USA)

Idea

CampusSelect
A website which connects high school students in the college search process to current, compatible undergraduates at their desired schools through video chat.

3rd Place

Winners

Nick Barrow, Michael Wiciak (USA)

Idea

Project X

A quad-copter that uses indirect propulsion systems in order to redirect airflow which has the ability to conceal propellers thus becoming the safest drone in the world.

SOCIAL INNOVATION COMPETITION

1st Place

Winners

Hassan Sohail, Hafiz Usama Tanveer, Hasham Tanveer, Sarib Zaman (Pakistan)

Idea

Aab-e-Hayaat

An agricultural product that uses enhanced super-absorbent polymer to fight droughts, reduce agricultural water needs by 70%, and cut agricultural expenditure on fertilizers by 50%.

2nd Place

Winners

Noel McDonald, Sophia Morris, Daneka Pusey and Devonte Williams (Jamaica)

Idea

Paradise Care

A non-profit organization that addresses the improper disposal of plastic bottles and transforms disposed plastics to support cottage industry of emergency lights whilst beautifying the environment and educating the population to prevent future occurrence.

3rd Place

Winners

Vincent Hao, Bela Madrid, Alex McCleod, Kari Siegenthaler (USA)

Idea

Digital Bridge

An online portal connecting local businesses struggling with gentrification to web designers, graphic design experts, and other media professionals who volunteer their time toward creating web-based services for these businesses.

2017

BUSINESS INNOVATION COMPETITION

1st Place

Winners

Kei Kojima and Kotaro Kojima (USA)

Idea

AcoustiGLASS
A wearable acoustic object recognition system designed to increase awareness of the surrounding environment.

2nd Place (TIE)

Winners

Ruth-Ann Armstrong, Daniel Chatani, Nathaniel Christie and Gaurnett Flowers (Jamaica)

Idea

BoltBot
A mobile and web application that facilitates simple and easy self-service at supermarkets, eliminating long lines for customers and reducing running costs for supermarkets.

2nd Place (TIE)

Winners

Nishka Ayyar and Riya Gupta (USA)

Idea

PromElle

A peer-to-peer party wear rental marketplace for teen girls to rent and lend gently used formal dresses and accessories from each other’s closets.

SOCIAL INNOVATION COMPETITION

1st Place

Winners

Haley Catton, Isabella Liu, Stash Pomichter, Andrew Yates (USA)

Idea

Elix Incubator
A social impact incubator for teen social entrepreneurs that provides services and education on developing business in a sustainable way.

2nd Place

Winners

Lucy Liu, Jack Sun, Jason Ye and Amy Zhong (USA)

Idea

Voluntu

A website application, will allow volunteers to track and consolidate volunteer hours in an organization.

3rd Place

Winners

Kelly Landis and Sierra RyanWallick (USA)

Idea

AutumnLeaf Fundraisers

A teen-led organization whose members hand-make and sell items at local community events, donating 100% of the money to charity.

2016

BUSINESS INNOVATION 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 INNOVATION 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.

2015

BUSINESS INNOVATION COMPETITION

1st Place

Winners

Shreyas Parab, Sriram Hathwar (USA)

Idea

Spell for Success 
Their concept is an app that helps spellers prepare for the National Spelling Bee. It aims to provide spellers with the resources they need to win the highly coveted Scripps National Spelling Bee.

2nd Place

Winners

Jackline Ndungu, Elizabeth Ngure, Margaret Gitau, Margaret Njunguna (Kenya)

Idea

Value Addition for Short-Seasoned Foods
This concept addresses the low profits in agricultural businesses that has led to inadequate food supply, as farmers opt for other types of crops. They aim to increase profitability by adding value to short-season foods.

3rd Place

Winners

Eva Dickerson, Felix Munther, Kierian Prince (USA)

Idea

Enkel Tech
Enkel Tech is an app development company that provides users with crowdsourced wait times to local restaurants.

SOCIAL INNOVATION COMPETITION

Winners

Evelina Bunici, Ludmilla Zgurean, Maria Mogildea (Moldova)

Idea

Modern Reflections
Modern Reflections creates cool, comfortable, everyday clothing and accessories with the added benefit of reflectivity. The pieces can be seen up to 70 meters away at night, which helps prevent pedestrian traffic accidents. They also support families whose lives have been heavily impacted by these accidents.

2014

BUSINESS INNOVATION COMPETITION

1st Place

Winners

Devon O’Dwyer, Payas Parab, Raylin Xu (USA)

Idea

Virtual Tutors
An interactive, online tutoring program to be sold to private schools that connects high-achieving students and students seeking extra support within a school.

2nd Place

Winners

Andreas Elterich, Jakub Simacek (USA)

Idea

Second Rate Studios
Second Rate Studios produces a real-time strategy (RTS) video game titled Protect Your Planet that is simple, yet tough to master, similar to chess.

3rd Place

Winners

Tamara Ceaicovschi, Tudor Petrici (Moldova)

Idea

Bike Now
Bike Now is a bike shop on wheels. They will sell, rent, and repair bikes using a van in order to service the remote areas of Moldova. They will also organize bike rides and biking events.

SOCIAL INNOVATION COMPETITION

Winners

Brian Mwangi, Michael Wahome, Stephen Otieno, Steve Gitahi (Kenya)

Idea

Huma-Coal
Huma-Coal is a long-burning processed pellets made from human waste. Production of these pellets would offset the deforestation taking place in Kenya, where trees are cut down to make charcoal for heating and cooking.

2013

BUSINESS INNOVATION COMPETITION

1st Place

Raven Eyes

Winners

Devin Deloach, Jenna Stevens, Tyler Butler, Emily Nichols (USA)

Idea

Raven Eyes
Raven Eyes offers students professional quality, lab-produced portraits, sports pictures, and student life photos at an affordable price.

2nd Place

BioFlame

Winners

Victor Otieno Omondi Paul, Brian Mburu Mwangi, Mongo Andrew Caezer, Daniel Kioko Kitheka (Kenya)

Idea

Bio Flame: Waste to Wealth 
The team proposed building affordable toilets that feed to a new biogas plant which subsequently supplies energy to new communal kitchens for the community. The initiative would also provide clean water, another scarce basic amenity in Kibera. The proposed project promises proper waste management, eradication of communicable diseases, prevention of food contamination and reduction of environmental pollution, all while creating jobs.

3rd Place (Tie)

BrakeLite

Winners

Jordan Walls, Mark Wortman, Dhruvil Patel (USA)

Idea

BrakeLite
BrakeLite is unlike regular brake lights because they change opacity of the color when more pressure is applied to the brakes. This helps to decrease the amount of car accidents, rather than the simple on and off on cars today.

3rd Place (Tie)

Service with Perks

Winners

Fiona Iyer, Elijah Jabbar-Bey, Emilio Ergueta (USA)

Idea

Service with Perks
Service with Perks matches busy university students with service opportunities that best fit their interests and passions.

3rd Place (Tie)

Winners

Greg Szumel, Chase Conley, Luke Morgan, Roth Johnson (USA)

Idea

Academy
Academy offers a feature-rich web application with a streamlined user interface for students to easily access information they need about courses in their school, all in one place.

Diamond Challenge Terms, Conditions and Rules

Overview

The Diamond Challenge is offered as a philanthropic education initiative by Horn Entrepreneurship at the University of Delaware. As such, it provides free, open-access resources for students, educators and practitioners of entrepreneurship. Participation in the Diamond Challenges involves learning from the pursuit of new ideas. It also involves the creation, submission and presentation of original content in the form of business and social concepts. All submissions and presentations are granted consideration by the Diamond Challenge leadership team under the basic understanding that:

  • Each Diamond Challenge submission and presentation represents an original work that has been created by a team of 2-4 high school students;
  • Team members have the authority to submit/present their original work by virtue of their ownership of the content (or the expressed permission of any non-participating content owners);
  • The submission/presentation does not disclose any third party intellectual property or violate any existing copyright protections;
  • The Diamond Challenge leadership team maintains sole discretion to interpret, modify or eliminate any of the competition’s terms, rules and conditions at any time and without notice.

That said, the primary purpose of the Diamond Challenge’s terms, conditions and rules is to provide equality of opportunity while also promoting a positive and impactful learning experience for all participants.

Student and Team Requirements
  1. Teams must be comprised of 2-­4 high school students typically between 14-18 years of age at the time of the submission deadline, and must be enrolled in an official high school/secondary education institution for the duration of the Diamond Challenge.
  2. Teams require one teacher or adult advisor (18 years of age or older) who is in a position to provide the opportunity to participate and broadly available to offer support to the team. Teams may have more than one advisor, however, only one may be included in your official team submission. The advisor you include will be considered a main point of contact for the competition.
  3. Any given student may participate on just one team (and therefore submit just one concept) per competition cycle/year.
  4. Teams may be comprised of students from more than one school.
  5. Only concepts that have been conceived by the members of the team may be submitted to the Diamond Challenge. If a submission has also been conceived by members not participating in the Diamond Challenge, their full legal names must be disclosed upon registration so as to avoid potential conflicts of interest and/or potential legal challenges at later stages of the competition.
  6. Businesses and social concepts must NOT have generated more than $100,000 in total revenue prior to the submission deadline.
Submission Rules and Requirements
  1. All submission information must be submitted in English.
  2. Each team leader, team member and advisor email address submitted must be a different email address and must be a real email address. The submission will not render correctly unless all individuals have a unique email address; moreover, important competition correspondence may be delayed or lost in reaching members if individual email addresses are not provided.
  3. Required written concept papers are strictly limited to 5 pages, not including a cover page. If a submission exceeds this limit, only its first 5 pages will be evaluated. Submissions must maintain 1-­inch (2.54 cm) margins and use 12-­point font. All written innovations must be formatted as a csv, doc, docx, or pdf file.
  4. Pitch decks must be no more than 15 slides in length, with a recommendation of 10 slides. All pitch decks must be formatted as a ppt or pptx file.
  5. To eliminate the potential for judging bias, teams will be assigned a submission number (also known as the Concept ID), which should be listed on the cover page for the written concept paper and the first slide of the pitch deck presentation. Participants must avoid listing or disclosing the names of the schools they represent in their written concept paper, pitch deck, and during their presentations unless the school constitutes a critical element of their concept. Questions about whether the school constitutes disclosing the school name as a critical element of the concept should be directed to [email protected] prior to submission. Failure to abide by this non-­disclosure rule will result in a significant point deduction from the team’s score.
  6. Submissions that have made it to the semifinal round in a previous season may not be resubmitted to the Challenge.
Pitch Rules
  1. Competing live. Participating in a live pitch event is an option for teams from all around the world who are able to travel to the location of a business innovation or social innovation pitch event in their country or region. Teams who choose to compete in live pitch events must adhere to the following rules:
  • Pitches are strictly limited to 5 minutes. Teams are free to use their creativity as they see fit to best portray their concept, which includes presentation software (e.g., PowerPoint, Keynote), as well as display boards, prototypes, images, sounds, motion graphics, etc.
  • Judges’ questions and team member responses will be strictly limited to 3 minutes.
  • Only team members that pitch are eligible to answer judges’ questions during the 3-minute question and answer section of the competition. Team members that do not participate in the pitch are not eligible to respond to judge questions.
  • Important Disclaimer: Embed audio/video into your live pitch at your own risk. Some pitch events may not have the ability to amplify sound, guarantee access the internet or show your specific video format. Experiencing technical difficulties during your presentation will count against the 5-minute time limit so you should be prepared to adapt.
  • We will make every effort to accommodate preferences, but if you are selected to pitch, you are not guaranteed the pitch event location you select. There may be times where invited participants are asked to pitch at another nearby location.
  • Not all students are guaranteed to pitch live or qualify for succeeding rounds beyond the submission round.
  1. Competing virtually. Teams invited to pitch virtually must adhere to the following rules:
  • Recorded video pitches are strictly limited to 5 minutes. Teams are free to use their creativity as they see fit to best portray their concept, which includes presentation software (e.g., PowerPoint, Keynote), as well as incorporating display boards, prototypes, images, sounds, motion graphics, etc. into their videos. All video pitches must be formatted as a mov, mp4, or mpg file.
  • Teams are free to decide which members present during the video pitch.
  • Teams should consider making sure the pitch deck is generally visible in the video pitch recording. This task can be accomplished through a screen share or other technical means.
Judging Criteria: Business Innovation

All written concepts, pitch decks, and presentations (including responses to question(s)) will be judged based on an equal weighting of perceived feasibility and growth potential as well as taking “wow factor” into consideration. Semifinalist and finalist teams will be determined by averaging judges’ scores and equally weighting these criteria.

Feasibility

Feasibility refers to “the degree to which the concept can actually work as well as the team’s ability to execute the concept and establish a defensible position in the targeted market(s).” Several issues can be expected to influence feasibility ratings, including:

  • To what extent are the customer segment(s) and their problem(s) identified and validated?
  • To what extent does the team’s proposed solution appear to solve the problem and deliver superior value in comparison to existing alternatives?
  • To what extent are the sales process and other business model components specified, validated and financially viable?
  • To what extent does the team possess the skills and resources needed to execute the model or appear likely to succeed in securing necessary talent and resources?

Growth potential

Growth potential refers to “the likely ease with which the business can be scaled and the ultimate size (in terms of revenue and profitability) that the business may attain.” Several issues can be expected to influence growth potential ratings, including:

  • How large is the served available market?
  • What share of the available market may ultimately be served by the business?
  • To what extent does the business possess an unfair advantage that will enable it to defend its position against emerging competition?
  • To what extent can the business model be quickly and efficiently scaled?

Wow Factor

  • Awarded for creativity, ingenuity, persistence, passion, storytelling and any other intangibles that are deemed likely to influence the feasibility and growth potential of the business.
Judging Criteria: Social Innovation

All written concepts, pitch decks, and presentations (including responses to question(s)) will be judged based on an equal weighting of perceived feasibility & sustainability, social impact and taking “wow factor” into consideration. Semifinalist and finalist teams will be determined by averaging judges’ scores and equally weighting these criteria.

Feasibility & Sustainability

Feasibility refers to “the degree to which the concept can actually work as well as the team’s ability to execute the concept and establish a defensible position in the targeted market(s).”

Sustainability refers to “the extent to which the concept’s revenues can be expected to be sufficient to maintain or expand operations and continue to deliver positive social impact for the foreseeable future.” Several issues can be expected to influence feasibility & sustainability ratings, including:

  • To what extent does the team demonstrate a rich understanding of the problem(s), and that it is informed by direct engagement with beneficiaries, payers/customers and others?
  • To what extent does the team’s proposed solution appear to solve the problem and deliver superior value (to beneficiaries and payers/customers) in comparison to existing alternatives?
  • To what extent are other social impact model components, especially the beneficiary engagement and selling process, specified, validated and financially viable?
  • To what extent does the team possess the skills and resources needed to execute their social impact model or appear likely to succeed in securing necessary talent and resources?

Social Impact

Social impact refers to “the extent to which an organization’s actions have a positive effect on beneficiaries and the surrounding community or environment.” Several issues can be expected to influence social impact scores, including:

  • How many people and communities are affected by the problem(s) and how severe are the adverse impacts? (i.e. How big is the “market” of beneficiaries, payers/customers and how bad is the problem if not solved?)
  • How many people and communities may ultimately be served by the social innovation and how much will they benefit?
  • Does the social innovation deliver unique, meaningful benefits – both immediate and longer-term – to people and communities in a way that cannot be easily copied?
  • To what extent is the solution scalable and cost effective?

Wow Factor

  • Awarded for creativity, ingenuity, persistence, passion, storytelling and any other intangibles that are deemed likely to influence the feasibility and potential of the social innovation.
Important Disclaimers
  1. By participating in the Diamond Challenge, you are granting the University of Delaware and its partners the limited right to utilize references to your concept as well as any images and pictures of you that may be taken in association with your submission and presentation(s) for promotional and other purposes that are consistent with a philanthropic education initiative.
  2. The Diamond Challenge utilizes a network of affiliated partners to execute live pitch events. These partners operate under a non-legally binding memorandum of understanding that compels them to make a good faith effort to execute pitch events according to uniform standards developed by the Diamond Challenge leadership team. These standards are intended to provide equality of opportunity while also promoting a positive and impactful learning experience for all participants.
  3. The Diamond Challenge includes open session presentations and external review of business concept and social concept submissions. Participation is voluntary, and as such, participants are responsible for determining whether to disclose proprietary or sensitive information in their submissions and presentations. The University of Delaware and all other partnering organizations assume no liability for accidental or voluntary disclosures of proprietary information or intellectual property.
  4. Submissions that are considered off-topic for high school students (typically those between 14-18 years of age) may be disqualified at the sole discretion of the Diamond Challenge Leadership Team at any point during the competition timeline. Such topics may include but are not limited to: nudity or sexual content, harmful or dangerous content, illicit/illegal content, violent or graphic content.
  5. All Diamond Challenge semifinalists are responsible for identifying the necessary funding to accommodate their needs to and from the Diamond Challenge Summit. The Diamond Challenge Team is not responsible for covering any costs associated with traveling to or from the Summit, or for covering any costs outside of the Summit experience.
  6. No obligation rule. We maintain the right to publish your content for promotional and other purposes that are consistent with a philanthropic education initiative; however, we do not have the obligation to do so. We may, at our sole discretion and for any reason, refuse the content or remove it from this or any related media without notice.
  7. The Leadership Team for the Diamond Challenge shall be the arbiter of all rules and rule clarifications. The team reserves the right to disqualify any participants who violate these rules or the spirit of the competition. Rule questions and inquiries should be submitted to [email protected].