i3 | April 06, 2020

CTA Marks Five Years of Driving Entrepreneurship in Clark County High Schools

Natalie Wallace
CTA continues to drive high school students to be entrepreneurs through its Future Innovators program — a digital curriculum developed by CTA member EVERFI — as a resource provided to high school students across Clark County in Nevada. The goal of the program is to spark students’ entrepreneurial curiosity, while exposing them to careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). CTA gives students the opportunity to showcase their innovative spirit by hosting a business pitch competition during CES, the largest, most influential tech show in the world.

Although CES is open only to attendees 18 years of age and older, each year CTA invites qualifying students for an exclusive opportunity to present their business ideas before industry leaders at the show. The competition challenges students to think creatively about their business models, but also encourages students toapply what they learned throughout the Future Innovators digital course to their business, think about STEM careers at an early age and discover entrepreneurship.

Implemented throughout Clark County high schools, the Future Innovators program has reachedmore than 7,000 students in 127 different classrooms over five years. Students have gone on to pursue college degrees in engineering, entrepreneurship and software development.

I obtained many new, valuable skills, such as creative thinking, presentation, teamwork and networking.
Future Innovators Pitch Competition at CES 2020.

Forging Entrepreneurs

“The Future Innovators Program was one of the best decisions I made in my high school career,” said 2019 competitor Jaslin Estavillo. “By completing the online course and presenting our pitch to successful industry professionals and the CES audience, I obtained many new, valuable skills, such as creative thinking, presentation, teamwork and networking.”

Bitloop, whose team members competed last year, returned to center stage for a second time. The team members pitched their business idea for an extracurricular program that fills the need for comprehensive, affordable, computer science education throughout the nation. This year’s winner, Unotify, developed an app to help users organize their phone notifications based on their calendar and schedule.

Bitloop, Unotify, and the third competing team Quokka Savings,had access to a team mentor throughout the development process. The mentors are technology leaders from CTA member companies who provided their team with real-life business advice ranging from product development, industry trends and delivery tactics. 

CTA aims to continue to drive students’ desire to learn, and to promote entrepreneurship and STEM careers. Through the Future Innovators program, students learn critical skills to help them succeed beyond high school and into the 21st century workforce.

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