Three Dual School Teams Win Funding in International Pitch Competition

Created in 2012 by University of Delaware Horn Entrepreneurship and sponsored by Capital One, the Diamond Challenge is a global entrepreneurship competition for high school students offering $100,000 in awards.

All students in Dual School are developing projects to solve societal problems or create an innovative business. Thus, we had several teams apply to the Diamond Challenge this year and we were thrilled to see three of them make it to the semifinal round. Out of the 659 submissions from 43 countries and 26 states, the competition was narrowed down to just 60 semifinal teams. The following teams made the cut and were invited to pitch at the University Delaware during the Youth Entrepreneurship Summit:

GroundUp CS, a team comprised of two Dual School students from the fall 2017 cohort, Noah Rossi and Rohan Kanchana, from Newark Charter High School won $500 for their venture. Their goal is to improve the way we teach computer science to middle school students by delivering more engaging, hands-on lessons.

Rossi enjoyed the Diamond Challenge experience saying, “We got to practice giving a pitch to potential investors. We learned what to include, what to emphasize, and how to keep it all under 5 minutes.”

GroundUp was recently featured in Delaware and you can read the article here.

Education in Times of Immigration, a team comprised of two Dual School students from the spiring 2018 cohort, Valentina Maza and Tatiana Romero, from William Penn High School, made it to the final five of the social innovation competition. They won $1,000 for their venture to improve resources for English Language Learners at their school. This funding comes shortly after a $500 mini-grant from the GripTape Learning Challenge.

Project X, an idea dreamed up by Michael Wiciak and incubated during the fall 2017 cohort of Dual School, made it to the final three in the business concept competition. Through Dual School, Wiciak got connected with his Diamond Challenge advisor, Sierra RyanWallick, a Diamond Challenge finalist from 2017 and a Dual School mentor. She helped Wiciak find a teammate in Nick Barrow who could further develop the business model behind this idea for a new drone. Project X took home $3,500 for their business concept.

Wiciak says he will be “getting a 3D printer and some electronics to continue research and prototyping.” Through the Diamond Challenge they received a mentor and “plan on forming a company around summer time in hopes to bring this product to market.”

About Dual School

Dual School empowers high school students to launch passion projects that improve their communities and the world. Dual School provides a semester-long program for students and professional development opportunities for educators.

About Horn Entrepreneurship

Horn Entrepreneurship serves as the University of Delaware’s creative engine for entrepreneurship education and advancement. Built and actively supported by successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders, Horn Entrepreneurship empowers aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs as they pursue new ideas for a better world.

Job prospects

The job market for the average person doesn’t look great. We had a wonderful run where anyone with an education could get a job easily, get paid well and retire comfortably. That time was an exception, not the rule.

Unfortunately, that’s what people expect now and because of that, the current situation seems like a nightmare. The world is changing quickly. Technology is eating jobs and shifting the landscape of work.

The “job market” isn’t going to get better. It’s going to get more competitive, more unstable and more skewed toward entrepreneurial thinkers. As young people growing up in this world, you have two possibilities:

Hope the “job market” gets better. This seems unlikely given current trends.

OR don’t be average. Take ownership. Stand out. Not by getting straight A’s and jumping through every hoop, but by owning a niche. Being yourself and fighting for change. Adding value without expectation of anything in return.

While the job market for the average person is going downhill fast, the job market for a remarkable person has never been better. 17 year olds making societal change. 21 year olds starting multimillion dollar companies. 25 year olds getting hired on big consulting projects because of their portfolio of work. None of those people have anything to worry about when it comes to the job market for the average person.

So go to edge. Don’t be average. It’s the future.