COLLEGE STATION, Feb. 12, 2021 – The McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship at Texas A&M University announced the Texas High School Ideas Challenge, the first ever state-wide entrepreneurship competition for high school students. Any Texas high school student between the ages of 14-18 is eligible to participate in the inaugural challenge. Participating students will compete for $15,000 in prize money in addition to in-kind gifts.

About the Texas High School Ideas Challenge

The Texas High School Ideas Challenge is based on the highly successful Raymond Ideas Challenge. For two decades the Raymond Ideas Challenge has only been available for Texas A&M Current students. Applications for the Texas High School Ideas Challenge close on March 31, are online, and do not require a formalized business, business plan, or prototype. Students are only required to submit an idea but must do so in a compelling manner that displays the idea’s viability, unique nature, and the problem that their idea attempts to address.

Student Impact

The mission of the public education system of the state of Texas is to ensure that all Texas children have access to a quality education that enables them to achieve their potential and fully participate in the social, economic, and educational opportunities of the state and nation. In 2019, Texas small businesses employed 45% of the Texas workforce, a clear indicator of the essential role that entrepreneurs play in driving the social and economic opportunities of the state. The Texas High School Ideas Challenge aligns with the mission of the Texas public education system by providing high school students with a highly accessible avenue to engage with entrepreneurship as a potential career opportunity regardless of if a student pursues higher education.

Competition Goals

In addition to supporting the mission of the Texas public education system, the Texas High School Ideas Challenge supports the Mays Business School’s grand challenge of entrepreneurship and improving economic development by cultivating and empowering the next generation of Texas entrepreneurs. Blake Petty, Executive Director of the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship commented, “For twenty years, our Raymond Ideas Challenge has celebrated the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit of our Aggies here on campus. We’re excited to now expand our scope across the state, in support of these creative problem-solvers while they are still in High School. We can’t wait to see all the inventive new ideas from Texas’ next great generation of entrepreneurs!”.