SEP Strive!

February-May (launches during National Entrepreneurship Week)

Currently offered virtually.

A series of business “pitch” qualifiers, designed as educational challenges embedded with some of our favorite startup resources and interactive experiences in market research and critical soft skills. The top 20 submissions across all SEP Strive challenges will have the opportunity to advance to SEP Thrive (State Competition).

Monthly Challenges

In place of our typical offering of regional face-to-face SEP Strive events, we have created a series of 3 monthly educational student challenges for the spring 2021.

ChallengeDeadlineFocusDetails & Resources
VPC Challenge
March 2021
March 31 @ 11:59 PM (CST)Creating value / using a Value Proposition Canvas* Submission Form w/ Background, Instructions, and Definitions
* Educator Toolkit (optional 30 to 45-min classroom/virtual lesson designed by Ashoka to help students identify opportunities where their “passions” intersect with community needs.)
MVP Challenge
April 2021
April 30 @ 11:59 PM (CST)Validating a market / building a Minimum Viable Product* Submission Form w/ Background, Instructions, and Definitions
* MVP PowerPoint (use as a content guide, presentation template, and potential backdrop for video submissions)
A$K Challenge
May 2021
May 21 @ 11:59 PM (CST)Selling an idea / making an “ask” to a potential investor* See below for Next Steps and Video Rules. A video Submission Form will be emailed May 17 to all teachers with registered students.
* A$K PowerPoint (use as a content guide, presentation template, and potential backdrop for video submissions)


There is a per-school maximum of 10 submissions for each individual Challenge. Schools with a greater number of entries are encouraged to host an in-house pre-qualifier if necessary.

Next Steps for Students:

  1. Do I need to individually register? YES! All students, regardless of whether competing individually or as part of a team, will need to individually register. The student registration link is
  2. Do I need to register for each individual Challenge? NO! Register just once to participate in any or all of the separate Challenges.
  3. Does my video need to be a specific file type? YES! For any Challenges requiring a video, please make sure that your video is submitted as one of the following file types: MP4, MOV, AVI, M4V.
  4. How do I submit my video? For any Challenges requiring a video, the submission form will include the following options: Share Link (e.g., Dropbox, YouTube) and Transfer File (e.g.,
  5. When will I find out if I won? The winners for each Challenge will be announced on our Facebook page and in our monthly teacher newsletter on the Wednesday immediately following the submission deadline. Your teacher(s) will also be notified following the announcement.

Cash Awards

Divisions1st Place2nd Place3rd Place
1. Concept
2. Startup
(“Up & Running”)

Video Rules & Regulations

  • Presenters may work/present individually or as part of a team (maximum of 4 members).
  • Presentations are limited to:
    • 7 minutes
    • 7 slides total (if presenting a PowerPoint, etc.)
  • Presentations are divided into 2 divisions:
    • Division 1. Concept (“Pre-Launch” business ideas w/o revenue)
    • Division 2. Startup (“Up & Running” businesses w/ revenue)
  • The weighted average of the competition’s judging results will be used to determine rankings and associated awards.

Download and review the SEP judging Rubric below…