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Teens find competent voice with be-Entrepreneurial

MADISON – For the third consecutive year, high school seniors can exercise their brains and add mental muscle with the be-Entrepreneurial or beE pitch competition.

Targeting teens, beE is a business-oriented idea competition. The Invention to Innovation Center or I2C and the College of Business Administration at the University of Alabama in Huntsville are presenting the activity.

“We are excited to begin our third annual be-Entrepreneurial pitch competition for teams in area high schools,” Rigved P. Joshi said. Joshi is Director of I2C at UAH.

The be-Entrepreneurial competition in online format is scheduled for Dec. 10 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is free. Application deadline will be Dec. 7.

“beE empowers the next generation of high school entrepreneurs to ideate (or imagine), collaborate and deliver new ideas,” Joshi said. “Teams of talented north Alabama students, supported by brilliant teachers and mentored by individual business professionals in the Huntsville area and I2C and community mentors, will compete in a business idea challenge to win cash from a $3,000 prize pool.”

Because of social distancing with COVID-19, beE for 2020 will be conducted 100 percent online. “So no more bus rides, crazy logistics and long waits. Simply apply, get shortlisted and participate in the online finale in the comfort of your classroom or home,” Joshi said.

“This year, we’ve made the curriculum better with refinements and tweaks to support teachers as they prepare their teams,” Joshi said. Dr. Valentina Iscaro designed the curriculum. Iscaro received a doctorate’s degree in entrepreneurship and innovation from the University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli in Italy. Iscaro has served as a Research Scholar at Wharton School of Business and currently teaches at UAH and Alabama A&M University.

Contest officials will offer mentorship before the competition and in workshops at the final event for competing and non-competing students.

Students must complete the following steps:

* Step 1 – When applying, a student can share ideas with the “Submit Idea Now” link on the beE website, be-entrepreneurial.org.

* Step 2 – After a student applies, contest officials will contact the student’s school representative (if requested) to schedule the team for a mentoring session with experts. A team can have two sessions maximum with the expert. These sessions can help a team with ideation and pitch presentation. “You learn, you adapt, you prepare, you present, and you could win,” Joshi said.

* Step 3 – For the grand finale on Dec. 10, judges in semi-final and final rounds will decide winning teams.

For more information, visit be-entrepreneurial.org.

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