Ann Arbor’s Skyline High School was one of five high schools from around the world to win an award for participation in the Blue Ocean Entrepreneurship Competition.
The competition is the largest student-run entrepreneurship competition in the United States. It teaches young people to develop and pitch ideas that are then judged by professional entrepreneurs.
Skyline High School won a $1,000 "Top High Schools" award honoring schools that have exemplary levels of student participation and embed the competition in their curriculum. With 18 pitches, Skyline scored the most submissions from a single school. Three of those pitches made it to the competition's semi-finals. Michelle Wargo, the school's Business Magnet and Information Technology teacher, assigned the competition to senior students for a grade.
While Skyline did not take the competition's top prizes, contest executive director and local entrepreneur Ted Dacko says Skyline students' submissions stood out.
"They were well done. They were clearly articulated and most had practical application in the real world," he says.
Overall, the competition received 225 pitches from 15 countries, an increase of more than 150 submissions over the competition's inaugural year in 2018. Skyline students competed against participants from Canada, Zimbabwe, Denmark, China, India, Kenya, and Indonesia.
The competition also received one pitch from Huron High School and one from Dexter High School.
Impressed with the hard work that Skyline students put into their submissions, Dacko advises them to enter again for the next Blue Ocean competition.
"Entrepreneurship requires learning to be globally competitive," he says. "Skyline students should continue to pitch against students from all over the country and all over the world. This will help them get better and better."
Jaishree Drepaul-Bruder is a freelance writer and editor currently in based in Ann Arbor. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.