Challenging Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow

Dr. John Sparco, director of Business Analytics and Marketing programs, served on an expert panel of judges at the world’s largest entrepreneurship competition for high school students.

Dr. John Sparco

In the Diamond Challenge, students aged 14-18 from around the globe pitch their ideas. Dr. Sparco worked virtually to evaluate projects in Philadelphia, as well as various locations in Africa and Europe.

“Their ideas ranged from rudimentary models to well-developed concepts,” he says. “The one thing they had in common is that they were very well communicated through their PowerPoint presentations.”

Each team of students worked with a counselor to come up with either a business model that would generate profits or a social innovation that would result in a positive impact on people or the environment. The winners were selected in April at the finals, held at the University of Delaware.

Dr. Kathy Kennedy-Ratajack, Dean of the College of Business, also has served as a judge.

“It’s a wonderful experience working with young people who are learning to develop businesses and make presentations,” Dr. Sparco says. “It’s the kind of real-life, hands-on experience we support here at WilmU.”