Forget the upcoming Super Bowl. What I am super-excited about right now is whether the three teenagers you see here will win the final round of Diamond Challenge Moldova on Saturday.
That’s Elizabet on the left, Lucia and Victor. They are three of the most talented and inspiring young people I have ever met — anywhere. I’ve been mentoring their team and will be cheering for them as they vie for the top prize in Moldova’s showcase for aspiring entrepreneurs.
If they win, they will receive $1,000 and a chance to compete in April at the international Diamond Challenge for High School Entrepreneurs in Delaware.
I’ve been meeting with Team BUK regularly for several months, helping them develop and refine their business plan. However, they came up with the ideas and have done all of the work — lots and lots of work. Like the five other finalists in their category, they will now deliver their final pitch in English before a team of judges. They and the other teams attended a training sesson two weeks ago where I described how to do this effectively. All of the teams were impressive and it was fun to work with them.
I’m not discussing our team’s business idea or pitch strategy until after the finals. For now, I ask you to join me in sending good wishes in their direction. That’s what two Duke students, Kiara and Sydney, did with my former colleague Sonja Foust several weeks ago when they unexpectedly sent me this special version of The Week at Duke in 60 Seconds, which I helped to create. Play it to the end for their surprise for Lucia, Elizabet and Victor. It’s been a joy to work with the three of them, no matter how the competition turns out. (The video is also at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lj5zHX_S7CY.)