Windstream recently launched the Smart Tomorrow Start-Up Challenge—a $40,000 entrepreneurship contest for high school students in Lincoln, NE, Lexington, KY or Sugar Land, TX. The competition challenges students to design a start-up business offering a product or service that can improve our communities and the way we live.
Students may enter individually or in teams of two. The contest is divided into two parts to determine local finalists and the overall winner. For the local round, students will design a WordPress website that explains the company’s mission, how it operates, its founders and more. Because the challenge is to design a start-up, not to launch one, the business and its products/services do not need to physically exist.
One winner will be selected in Lincoln, Lexington and Sugar Land to advance to the finals, where they will be tasked with creating a short, 2-3 minute video pitching the business, how it serves the needs of others, and why it deserves to win.
All three videos will be hosted on Inc.com for one week to allow visitors to vote for their favorite start-up idea. The results of the online vote will be considered along with an equally-weighted vote from Windstream and an industry expert to determine the overall winner.
The winning student(s) will receive $20,000 and an additional $20,000 for their school's parent-teacher association. The two runners-up will receive $5,000 and matching donation of $5,000 for their parent-teacher association.