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!
diamond challenge aralia education

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 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.   

The competition has attracted more than 10,000 teens with 70 countries and 40 states in America represented. While many entrepreneurship programs focus on small business management principles, the Diamond Challenge focuses on unleashing creativity, encouraging a mindset of abundance and self-determination, and promoting purposeful entrepreneurial action.   

There are two competitions within the Diamond Challenge: 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

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. 

Rounds
Submission Round

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

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, and components of a perfect startup pitch 

Semifinal Round

70 of the top teams from around the world will be chosen as semifinalists. After that, semifinalists are invited to pitch three times to three separate a panel of judges. 

Top 20

Top 20 teams out of 70 will then move forward with the competition, following a similar format  

Final Round

Winning teams from top 20 are then invited to attend the annual Youth Entrepreneurship Summit (YES!) at the University of Delaware. They will present their idea in front of CEOs and CFOs in different industries.  

For more information about the competition, please refer to the Diamond Challenge website and the FAQ.

How to prepare for Diamond Challenge

There are different ways to prepare for the Diamond Challenge. The organizers constantly 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 BUSINESS COMPETITION

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.

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN

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