Idaho High School Entrepreneurial Challenge

Idaho is Serious about Jobs, Independence & Economic Growth

There are three distinct phases in the history of entrepreneurship in the American economy.

  1. The Ridicule. This was when entrepreneurs or people who gave up the stability of plush 9 to 5 jobs were looked upon as “capricious”, whimsical or bat crazy. I know – I am a product of that era.
  2. Then came The Surge. Entrepreneurs were emboldened by the success stories of people like Richard Branson and the liberating encouragements of mentors like Tony Robbins. They started to reap the rewards and annihilate the stigma.
  3. And we make our way to today. An era I like to call The Religion. Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos are no longer heroes on a pedestal. These Goliaths are walking amongst us. If the early 1900s saw giants of the likes of Einstein and Bohr sharing the same space, today there are individuals who later down the line will be applauded and revered for bringing about an entrepreneurial renaissance.

And it is in this period of a new openness and acceptance of entrepreneurship that most countries around the world are bringing its opportunities to their future – the children who will have to shoulder the responsibility of growing the economy.

Scarcity of Traditional Jobs Will Not Disappear:

While some industries like manufacturing are hankering for qualified professionals, others like IT are over saturated. The bottom-line is, there will never be enough jobs for everyone. And jobs which can satisfy their desire to learn, grow and expand. With the retirement of the Baby Boomers we are also saying good-bye to the “one size fits all” concept of employment.

The Millennials and those who come after them are more focused on how jobs can help them lead a life that’s fulfilling. And being tied to the desk doesn’t really figure high on their list of priorities.

The only way to give the next generation employment they will respect, enjoy and persevere at is to give them skills to grow their own source of income.

That income may come from the next Facebook, a quaint boutique or even a YouTube channel. The prospects are mind-boggling.

Entrepreneurship Comes to Idaho:

Entrepreneurship has gradually incorporated itself in the fabric of Idaho. But the sentiment of Treasure Valley is crystal clear with the introduction of the Idaho High School Entrepreneurial Challenge.

Independence, problem solving, innovation, confidence are no longer (just) for the big boys (and girls). These qualities have been deemed important by even traditional educational institutes. And they happen to be the hallmarks of great entrepreneurs.

All set to culminate in a grand event on the 11th April 2018, the challenge has seen teams from schools work with Venture College Badge Holders mentors to perfect the details of their own entrepreneurial venture.

The candidates will be judged on:

  • The clarity of their value proposition
  • The granularity of their ideal customer profile research
  • The feasibility of their revenue model
  • The sophistication of their final pitch

4000 dollars in cash prize money sponsored by Venture College is at stake.

But more than the financial pay-out the excitement is around two beautiful occurrences:

  • The acceptance of entrepreneurship as the definitive vehicle for strengthening global economy
  • The induction of the next generation of smart citizens in the lifestyle that is entrepreneurship

They may choose to not go down the road of running their own business. But thanks to their participation, they will always have a road map at their disposal to turn ideas into reality.

It is empowering, it is awe inspiring. And it most definitely is what the world needs today.

 

I am happy beyond belief to have the privilege of judging the Idaho High School Entrepreneurial Challenge. If you want to chat, you’ll find me at the Hatch Ballroom, second floor, Boise State Student Union Building (SUB) from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM on 11th April 2018. 

 

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