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Diamond Challenge Business Competition Prep

Beginner’s Guide to Diamond Challenge

For students interested in Business and Entrepreneurship, Diamond Challenge is the perfect opportunity to gain experience and knowledge about the business world!
Below is all the information you need to know about the Diamond competition, and how to prepare for the exciting Diamond Challenge. Keep reading to learn more!
What is the Diamond Challenge competition?

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.   

The competition has attracted more than 10,000 teens with 70 countries and 40 states in America represented. The Diamond Challenge is an entrepreneurship competition that offers $100000 in prizes. While many entrepreneurship programs focus on small business management principles, the Diamond Challenge focuses on propelling high school entrepreneurs and empowering the next generation through this competition. 

There are two sections of the competition: Business Innovation and Social Innovation. Before choosing, students develop a problem they want to solve and a business idea/business plan for that problem. 

  • If the concept emphasizes solving a customer problem, students should choose Business Concept.
  • If the idea focuses on solving a societal or environmental problem, students should choose Social Innovation.

Students can submit a concept multiple times if they’ve never made it to the final round with that concept and if they’ve made a significant process in developing the concept between each submission.   

Please note that the concepts must not have generated more than $100,000 in total revenue before the submission deadline. Students can register for the competition based on the deadlines stated on the website. 

Participants in the Diamond Challenge 2024

To participate in the competition, students must form a team of 2-4 people. All participants must be between 14-18 years old at the time of the submission deadline and be enrolled in a high school/secondary education institution for the duration of the challenge. Students can team up with students from other high schools.  

Each team must have one adult advisor (21 years old or older) who will become the main point of contact for the competition and is available for support. Teams can have more than one advisor, but only one should be included in the official team submission.   

Participants in the competition will be connected with mentors. Mentors will provide feedback in terms of ideas and models for business and social innovations. They will also navigate students through the rounds overall. All mentors have real-world experience; therefore, students will receive in-depth insights and guidance from mentors. 

Submission Round (Deadline: January 16, 2024)

For the submission round, high school entrepreneurs have to choose a pitch event location and competition track. After that, you’ll start developing a concept according to the track you chose. Resources for concepts can be accessed in the account section after a successful registration.   

While developing a concept, teams should use these canvases to help develop your ideas 

Lean Canvas (For Business Innovation Teams)  

Social Impact Canvas (For Social Innovation Teams)  

Pitching Round (Deadline: Feb 16, 2024)

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.  

Here are some Pitch Deck Examples from Successful Startups (Airbnb, Uber, Facebook), as well as tips for designing your deck.

Final Round - Diamond Challenge Summit (April 25 - 27, 2024)

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. 

For more information about the competition, please refer to the website

Developing a Winning Project

The winning business idea that is used to participate in this competition should be  innovative, feasible, and profitable. Here are some key components of a successful written concept and pitch deck:

  1. A strong value proposition: As mentioned above, the Diamond Challenge has two sections: Business Innovation and Social Innovation. Your project should address a real problem or need in the market for either section and offer a unique solution that sets it apart from competitors. 

  2. Market research: Before developing your project, it’s essential to conduct thorough market research to identify your target audience, competitors, and market trends. This research will help you to refine your idea and ensure that there is a viable market for your product or service.

  3. A solid business plan: A well-crafted business plan should include a description of your product or service, target market, marketing and sales strategy, financial projections, and an analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT analysis) of your business.

  4. A prototype or minimum viable product (MVP): Depending on the type of project, it may be helpful to create a prototype or MVP to demonstrate your idea and test it with potential customers. An MVP allows you to test your assumptions, get customer feedback, and refine your idea. 

  5. A clear revenue model: Your revenue model outlines how your business will make money. You should choose a revenue model that is appropriate for your business and market, and be able to explain how it will generate revenue and profit.

How to prepare for Diamond Challenge

The organizers upload content about tips and step-by-step guides to the competition that you and check out below:  

Alumni Share How to Prepare for Diamond Challenge

Mastering the Diamond Challenge Pitch Deck

How to Jump-Start Your Diamond Challenge Experience: Part 1

In addition to those resources, students with interest in Diamond Challenge Competition can consider registering for our Diamond Challenge Business Competition program. More information is provided below. 

Diamond Challenge Prep

Aspiring entrepreneurs will create, promote, and market a company to win over the Diamond Challenge Business Competition’s judges. In this intensive format, students will conduct the business ideation process, create a business plan, conduct environmental scanning, establishing the organizational mission, vision, and value statements, create marketing and promotion strategies, write the business proposal and create a pitch-deck required by the Diamond Challenge Business Competition.

Intro to Business Competition

Aspiring entrepreneurs will learn to create, promote, and market a company to win over the judges in a Business Competition. Intro to Business Competition course is designed and taught by an M.B.A. professor and judge of graduate Business Pitch competitions. Topics include the differences between start-ups and small businesses, business ideation, designing business plans, environmental scanning, raising capital, developing budgets, establishing organizational structure, marketing and promotion strategies, persuasive sales pitches, and pitch-decks.


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