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Blue Ocean High School Entrepreneurship Pitch Competition Returns with Greater Global Reach

December 3, 2020 Startup Ecosystem
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  • Registration is open for the 2020 – 2021 Blue Ocean Entrepreneurship Competition.
  • High School students from around the globe will compete for a $1,000 first place prize.
  • The five top participating schools will each receive a $1,000 prize.
  • Pitch videos are due February 19, 2021.

The Blue Ocean High School Entrepreneurship Pitch Competition is the most prestigious virtual and global pitch competition in the world for high school students. Inspired by the bestselling books Blue Ocean Strategy and Blue Ocean Shift, the entirely free competition continues to attract pioneering, ambitious, and creative students representing hundreds of schools from around the globe.

“Based on the principles defined by authors W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne, the competition guides students to identify brand-new markets, creating products and services that don’t exist,” said Ted Dacko, Blue Ocean Competition executive director. “The participants will experience what it’s like to give a pitch and get real feedback from experienced entrepreneurs while developing critical thinking skills that will benefit them in any future endeavor.”

There are two different methods for students to prepare for the pitch competition. Many high schools, such as Skyline High School (Ann Arbor, MI) and Ward Melville High School (East Setauket, NY), build the Blue Ocean Competition into their curriculum. The competition provides free teacher resources for use in classrooms and clubs. According to Ilene Littman, teacher and DECA advisor at Ward Melville, “It’s a great project-based learning tool for face-to-face and virtual classrooms.”

Alternatively, and new this year for students, is the Blue Ocean Entrepreneurship Competition mini course. This self-guided, interactive series of lessons is designed to prepare competitors for every phase — from conception to pitch — and is recognized with a Certificate of Completion.

The competition attracts more schools and participants every year. Last year’s students represented 26 U.S. states and 15 countries. This year’s numbers are already eclipsing previous ones with current registrations hailing from 30 countries. According to Ted, “Our philosophy of compete globally, pitch locally is gaining momentum as students who are seriously interested in entrepreneurship look toward the Blue Ocean competition to get practical experience pitching their ideas.”

Students and teachers can learn more about the competition, explore resources, and register at You can also watch last year’s winning pitches.

Ann Arbor SPARK is a sponsor of the Blue Ocean Student Entrepreneur Pitch Competition. In 2020, SPARK awarded Ted Dacko with the Volunteer Leader of the Year Award.