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08/02/2011: The Pitch & The Judging
Posted by Administrator on July 28, 2011 at 5:19 PM EDT
And the Winner is…
"Can I go back to high school?" one of the judges says, and everyone laughs. Her opinion is shared throughout the auditorium. A collection of iPad 2's are at stake, and teams want to win the grand prize.
In the academy's Entrepreneurship Track final competition, student teams pitch their big ideas. They've developed ventures during their weeks here. The teams have five minutes to pitch. Then, the judges ask questions for ten minutes. Afterward, the judges deliberate and decide on the winners.
The teams are extremely well prepared, equipped with visual aids, business plans and dressed in their finest. Their ideas are accordingly sophisticated. Several of the students have focused on overlooked markets and have developed products and businesses to address underserved markets or populations. Others attempt to tweak current business practices in order to capitalize on doing a job or serving a client better.
There is showmanship. There is pageantry. There is overwhelming excitement. The judges meet for almost forty-five minutes before coming to a conclusion.
And the winner is…an idea focused on addressing prisoner recidivism. This social entrepreneurship venture [whose name and specific concept remains undisclosed] seeks to address a social problem while mutually benefiting the founders, the target market and third parties. In essence, the judges decided in favor of a "win, win, win" company. While we're used to seeing this level of execution from students of this caliber, it's always inspiring to see such voluminous talent.