Inspiring the entrepreneurs of tomorrow
** Due to the recent pandemic of COVID-19, this year’s event will be virtual. The format is going to be the same but we will be using the online learning platform, Zoom. Students will have two minutes, rather than the usual 90 seconds, to pitch their companies and judges will be listening through Zoom to score them. Prizes will be the same as in the past. Shelia Coon, founder and owner of Hot Oven Cookies, is going to now record her speech at Keynote Speaker and we will send out to participating students/judges.
The enTEENpreneur Challenge is, essentially, a pitch contest similar in format to one seen on a reality TV show about entrepreneurship. Sponsoring organizations provide members of the judging panel, and students have 90 seconds to convince the panel to fund their company. The judging panel determines 1st, 2nd and 3rd place by numerical score based on a rubric that is available upon request. The top three teams receive cash prizes in the following amounts:
- 1st place wins $500 ($100 per person, assuming a team of five students) and a scholarship to Elms College
- 2nd place wins $375 ($75 per person, assuming a team of five students)
- 3rd place wins $250 ($50 per person, assuming a team of five students)
While students do not need a ready-for-sale product to participate in the challenge, those students who opt to create a product are eligible for extra awards. Teams with products can participate in a trade show on Tower Square’s general walkway. Each student on a team awarded for the Best Trade Booth or Most Innovative Product receives a personal trophy.
In addition, the winning student teams that have a ready-for-sale product to showcase are eligible to submit their plan to the JA USA National Student Leadership Summit held annually in Washington D.C. Fifteen finalists from around the country are selected to attend the summit. If a Western Massachusetts student team is selected, JAWM helps prepare the team for competition and covers travel expenses.