Date: 02/04/2021
Writer: Cassie McClure, 575-312-3242,


Middle and high school teachers and students in the Borderplex region: do you have a business idea that solves a problem? New Mexico State University’s Hunt Center for Entrepreneurship at Arrowhead Center and El Paso’s STTE Foundation want to hear those ideas and find the best.

The 100 Day Challenge will allow competitors to learn how to pitch an idea, create a pitch deck and start building a network of like-minded problem solvers. The challenge runs from Sunday, Feb. 7, to May 22. There is no registration fee to join.

“This new challenge allows both teachers and students to dive into solving problems they may have been thinking about, and get valuable feedback on whether an audience might buy or use the service,” said Lydia Hammond, Arrowhead Center’s Innoventure program manager.

The Innoventure program leads entrepreneurial education for K-12 throughout New Mexico.

“We know that the Borderplex has incredible strengths and problems that might need a local touch to think about and solve. We’re grateful to be partnering with the STTE Foundation on this competition for local youth,” Hammond said.

There are three stages for the 100 Day Challenge. For Stage 1, competitors start with an idea that focuses on solving a problem. They then get a parent’s approval to film a 60-second pitch and post on YouTube. Links must be submitted by March 26.

“Providing entrepreneurship programs like the 100 Day Challenge is vital to accelerating our economic recovery,” STTE Foundation executive director Joseph Sapien said.

The first 100 participants who submit their 60-second virtual pitch will be rewarded with a $5 gift card. Teachers are also eligible to win stipends.

“Teachers who have 10 student pitches enter Stage 1 will be entered into a raffle for a $100 stipend,” Sapien said. “Teachers especially have been challenged during the pandemic and we want to reward them for their valiant efforts.”

Stage 2 is about honing the ideas, developing a business plan and a pitch deck. A workshop on how to complete this next stage will be held online April 3. Competitors then submit the final pitch deck by April 16. The first 100 submitters will receive a $10 gift card.

Judges will select the top 10 competitors for Stage 3 who will advance to a formal competition in May, competing for cash prizes ranging between $300 to $100, and tech items, including laptops. Competition spaces are limited to the first 100 participants and on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information and to register for the program, visit