This month we officially launched the Acton Education Innovation Challenge, which pairs aspiring education disruptors with successful CEOs and entrepreneurs who are changing the face of education in the United States. Registration is open until May 18.
But it’s not a “networking” event. And it’s not a “business plan” competition either. We’ve scanned the landscape of events like those before and feel that many of them come up wanting. Jeff Neeley, the Acton MBA alumnus we’ve got spearheading the challenge, sums it up like this:
“You never hear a successful entrepreneur attribute his success to his ability to write a business plan. Yet the majority of the business school competitions out there are nothing more than business plan competitions. They offer a carrot that typically leads nowhere.”
The idea of each challenge is twofold:
- To provide participants with some of the entrepreneurial skills, frameworks, and relationships that will help them leap to the next level—and, perhaps, to even run their own companies.
- To provide a setting in which these participants can prove what they’ve got to leaders in their industries.
How it works
The Education Innovation Challenge is built to produce a single grand prize winner, chosen in September, who will get to choose between $10,000 cash or a $50,000 fellowship to the Acton MBA program. But there’s value for all participants in each successive step of the event: at each level, participants will have the change to forge relationships, hone their entrepreneurial skills and instincts, and learn a lot about themselves.
To qualify, applicants must first complete a series of assignments meant to highlight their initiative, brainpower, and passion for changing education in America. Those selected will be invited to a half-day event at the Acton campus in Austin, Texas to meet the Guides and participate in an intense case discussion of a real-world scenario. Afterward, each of the Guides will select one rising leader from the participants to mentor over the next 14 weeks. Those individuals selected will continue on, completing Acton’s online MyEJ program, developed around the Acton MBA curriculum, while their Guides provide insight and feedback.
Do you know a rising star in education innovation, energy, or real estate?
If so, send them to :