McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship Executive Director Blake Petty with Rudy A. of Frisco’s Centennial High School, who took top honors at the 2022 High School Ideas Challenge.
The McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship in Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School awarded more than $10,000 in prizes May 6 at its second annual Texas High School Ideas Challenge.
The challenge, designed to encourage Texas high school students to explore entrepreneurship, was launched in 2021 and is modeled after the center’s Raymond Ideas Challenge for Texas A&M students. This year, 42 teams with more than 100 high school students representing 18 Texas cities were named finalists.
Three of the seven top prize-winning teams were from Centennial High School in Frisco. Rudy A., a junior there, was awarded the first-place prize of $2,500. The WorkBee idea he developed with Sarthak D., also a junior at Centennial, enables customers to purchase and arrange installation of customized holiday decorations from reliable and fair-priced local contractors.
Students submitted ideas either individually or as part of a team in late 2021. Finalists were invited to the May 6 competition on the Texas A&M campus, where they pitched their ideas and answered questions in front of two different panels of judges selected from the McFerrin Center’s network of mentors, entrepreneurs and Texas A&M faculty.
In addition to prize money for the top idea winners, this year’s challenge also awarded $3,750 in prizes to three teams in the “crowd fund” category based on judges’ individual meetings with each team. The $1,500 first-place prize in this category went to students from Austin’s Westlake High School for their backpacking table idea.
The 2023 McFerrin Center High School Ideas Challenge is scheduled for May 5.