PROVIDENCE, RI – Lt. Governor Dan McKee is launching Rhode Island's first Lt. Governor's Entrepreneurship Challenge, a business pitch competition that encourages entrepreneurial-minded high school students to compete for thousands of dollars in post-secondary scholarships.
The Challenge begins with participants creating written business plans that will be scored by members of the local business community. The top five scorers advance to a live Shark Tank-like pitch competition in August 2018. During the live competition, students present their business pitches to a panel of judges and receive scholarships based on their pitch scores.
The Challenge is sponsored by the Credit Unions of Rhode Island and hosted in partnership with Millennial RI.
"We want the Lt. Governor's Entrepreneurship Challenge to send a strong message to young business-minded students in our state—we believe in you, we realize your potential and we want you to have the tools to pursue your entrepreneurial dreams right here in Rhode Island," said McKee. "I am thrilled to be partnering with Millennial RI and the Credit Unions of Rhode Island whose missions speak to the heart of this program."
"Our organization was created to help support and retain young professionals living in this state," said Aiyah Josiah-Faeduwor, Executive Director, Millennial RI. "That starts before graduation—we want to support students' dreams in Rhode Island and invest their energy and passion here. Through this scholarship opportunity, we hope to elevate eager entrepreneurial-minded students on their journey to success."
"The Credit Unions of Rhode Island are excited to be part of this important initiative to get young people engaged in the exciting realm of entrepreneurship," said Paul Gentile, President/CEO, Cooperative Credit Union Association. "Credit unions believe in educating our youth in all sorts of areas, whether it be financial literacy or the business world. It's important to get them thinking about the future and we want them to have the confidence to pursue their dreams. This program will help do just that."
McKee modeled this program after the Kentucky Lt. Governor's Entrepreneurship Challenge, an initiative he learned about during his time as Chair of the National Lieutenant Governors Association.
The deadline to apply for the Challenge is Friday, May 25, 2018. Rhode Island high school students from public, private and homeschool settings are eligible to participate. Detailed information about the program can be found at www.rilgec.com.