MECC to Host ESTEAM Competition for Entrepreneurial Education

BIG STONE GAP — Mountain Empire Community College and The National Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education (EntreEd) are partnering to bring the ESTEAM Pitch Series to local middle- and high-school students.

The live virtual event will take place on Wednesday, March 17 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm EST. The competition encourages students in the Appalachian region to develop and pitch ideas for business development, emphasizing the development of creativity and entrepreneurial innovation.

“At EntreEd, our goal is entrepreneurship education for every student. Our vision for this ESTEAM Pitch Series is to encourage the entrepreneurial creativity of students across Appalachia. We know there are great ideas just waiting to be brought forward, and we want this ARC POWER-funded initiative to be an engaging activity that will encourage teachers and students to develop and pitch those ideas in a competitive environment. As the region begins to recover from the hardships brought on by the pandemic, there will be a great need for entrepreneurial thinking and new ideas. Let’s get started here and now,” said EntreEd’s Executive Director, Dr. Gene Coulson.

Eligible teams include middle- and high-school students within Lee, Wise, Buchanan, and Dickenson counties. To compete, a team must have a minimum of two students and a teacher identified. Instructors must declare Intent to Compete by January 31. Each competition will have two rounds. Round 1, due February 17, 2021 includes a Business Model Canvas submission and a 90-second elevator pitch. Upon internal review, 10 teams will be invited to compete in Round 2, March 17, a live pitch via Zoom to a panel of local judges. Student teams can earn up to $1,000 for their idea, and students aren’t the only winners! The three top teams will also receive $500 for their classroom.

The ESTEAM Pitch Series is an initiative of EntreEd’s Fostering Self ESTEAM in Appalachia’s Emerging Workforce project, funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. The project helps middle and high school programs in a seven-state region infuse Entrepreneurship into academic classrooms with a focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) initiatives. To learn more about the project and the ESTEAM Pitch Series, contact Amber Ravenscroft, ESTEAM Project Director, at