McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship Executive Director Blake Petty with Rudy A. of Frisco’s Centennial High School, who won top honors in the 2022 High School Ideas Challenge.
The challenge, designed to encourage high school students in Texas to explore entrepreneurship, launched in 2021 and is inspired by the center Raymond Ideas Challenge for Texas A&M students. This year, 42 teams with more than 100 high school students representing 18 cities in Texas were named finalists.
Three of the top seven winning teams were from Centennial High School in Frisco. Rudy A., a junior there, received the top prize of $2,500. The WorkBee idea he developed with Sarthak D., also a junior at Centennial, allows customers to purchase and arrange installation of custom holiday decorations from trusted local contractors at fair prices.
Students submitted ideas individually or as 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 . Texas A&M network of mentors, entrepreneurs and professors.
In addition to cash prizes for the best idea winners, this year’s challenge also awarded $3,750 in prizes to three teams in the “crowdfund” category based on the judges’ one-on-one meetings with each team. The first prize of $1,500 in this category was awarded to students from Westlake High School in Austin for their hiking table idea.
The 2023 McFerrin Center High School Ideas Challenge is scheduled for May 5.