CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. — Hundreds of high school students are getting a crash course in innovation and entrepreneurship in the hopes of winning scholarships to Thomas More University through Square1’s NEXT business development program. NEXT is a youth development program that utilizes innovation and entrepreneurship skills in preparing the next generation to lead, create, and succeed in competitive academic and business environments. Schools looking to engage with Square1 can do so through the Jan. 31, 2023, deadline for the upcoming contest.
Through regular workshops, NEXT educates students on how to identify problems, create ideas, and design their paths. Students will have the opportunity to work in a collaborative team environment while building their own brand. All of these skills are identified specifically by employers as not only valued but essential for success. Keith Schneider, entrepreneur and Square1 president, believes that inspiring students to be innovative and motivated changemakers is crucial to the future of our communities. “It is truly amazing to see what the students are capable of once the light comes on and they start working from a perspective of what is possible versus what is not,” explains Schneider.
The NEXT program concludes with a contest series where students compete in a Shark Tank-like pitch contest to advance to a regional contest, where over $600,000 in scholarships, cash prizes, and more are to be awarded. The 2023 NEXT Final Pitch event will be held at Thomas More University the evening of March 23.
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