Diamond Challenge

Created by the University of Delaware Horn Entrepreneurship center in 2012, the Diamond Challenge provides a unique opportunity for 10,000+ teens to learn about entrepreneurship while putting their ideas into action. This is a high school entrepreneurship competition, and high school students participate in a year-long program. They will be developing ideas to address pressing challenges they’ve identified.
Interested in the competition?
Diamond Challenge Business Competition Prep

Competition Overview

High school students 14-18 years old
Entry fee
January 16, 2024
Submission deadline
April 25 - 27, 2025
Diamond Challenge Summit

Competition Details

1. Competition Track
 There are two tracks within the Diamond Challenge: Business Innovation and Social Innovation. Upon initial submission, each team is required to choose a competition track (business innovation or social innovation) as well as a pitch round format (live pitch event or virtual/pre-recorded).  If the concept emphasizes solving a customer problem, students should choose Business Innovation track. If the idea focuses on solving a societal or environmental problem, students should choose Social Innovation.

2. Team Requirement
2-4 high school students between 14-18 years of age at the submission deadline and be enrolled in an official high school/secondary education institution or program for the duration of the competition. Businesses must not have generated more than $100,000 in total revenue before submission. Students can team up with students from other high schools. 

Teams require one adult advisor (21 years of age or older) in a position to provide the opportunity to participate and are broadly available to offer support to the team.

3. Timeline

Submission window opens: September 20, 2023

Submission deadline: January 16, 2024

Submission Round Judging: January 23 – February 1, 2024

Pitch Round Invitees Selected: February 8, 2024

Pitch Round Judging: February 16-26, 2024

Pitch Event Window: February 9 – March 9, 2024Summit: April 25 – 27, 2025

4. Judging Criteria

  • Business Innovation: Feasibility (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), Growth potential (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), and 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)
  • Social Innovation: Feasibility & Sustainability, Social Impact, and Wow Factor

5. Prizes

1st place: $12,000

2nd place: &8,500

3rd place: $4,000

Past Finalists

HP Alumni Kamat
Hans Kamat & Evan Kamat
HP Alumni Burkhardt Deng
Sebastien Burkhardt & Barrett Deng
HP Alumni Papouli
Ariadne Papouli

Submission Requirements

1. Submission Round

  • Written Concept Narrative: 3-5 page narrative. A persuasive concept narrative should artfully convey the problem, the affected customers, and the solution, highlighting its unique value compared to existing alternatives. It should outline the economic viability of the venture and showcase the team’s collective expertise. Additionally, it should provide evidence of positive progress or initial traction gained.
  • Introductory Video to introduce about the team and the concept being submitted. 

2. Pitching Round
The pitching order will be drawn randomly. Teams pitch are recommended to prepare 10 slides pitch deck, with no more than 15 slides. Pitch time is limited to 5 minutes, not include 3 minutes of judge’s questions and team members’ responses.

3. Final Round – Diamond Challenge Summit
Top scoring teams from the Pitch Round will go on to become the Finalists and are then invited to attend the Summit. They will present their idea to CEOs and CFOs in different industries, learn from world-class speakers, entrepreneurs, and mentors, and create lifelong connections.

Join our competition prep classes now!

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