Entrepreneurship

Changemaker Challenge: T-Mobile’s Young Entrepreneurship Competition

changemaker challenge

T-Mobile is staking their claim in the entrepreneurial game by hosting an entrepreneurship competition called the Changemaker Challenge. Partnering with non-profit company Ashoka, T-Mobile is branching out of their wireless carrier box and into the field of social entrepreneurship. With their customer growth and increased revenue in recent years, T-Mobile wanted to do something more to give back to the community.

Changemaker Challenge: T-Mobile’s Young Entrepreneurship Competition

changemaker challenge

Over 300 teams across the country applied to attend the first-ever Changemaker Challenge in Bellevue, Washington, and 30 teams were selected. The final teams participated in mentoring and training sessions spanning two days and then gathered to pitch their ideas to senior-level executives of T-Mobile.

 

Socially and globally-conscious ideas and concepts were pitched, and included everything from providing a more inclusive environment for special needs students and bringing solar power to the country of Puerto Rico to eliminating the stigma around mental illness and creating a more youth-friendly environment at hospitals through an educational curriculum.

The panel of T-Mobile executives was beyond impressed with the participants of the entrepreneurship competition, even asking one group if they could “start at T-Mobile tomorrow.”

John Legere, T-Mobile CEO, was “absolutely stunned at the professionalism, the depth of their ideas, the magnitude of the impact. I didn’t hear anything in there that I wouldn’t personally want to be a part of right now. It’s inspiring.”

The original plan was for T-Mobile to select two winning teams and have them come back to Bellevue for additional support and development of their ideas. Legere, however, was so inspired by the young entrepreneurs that he invited all six finalist teams back to the T-Mobile campus and even funded them with an additional $30,000 of his own money.

Do you love what T-Mobile is doing to support young entrepreneurs? What else can we do as a society and on an individual level to promote social entrepreneurship? Tweet me @lorenridinger.