A pair of Indian American high school students in California are offering a free online pitch competition for middle school students (ages 9-14).

Shasta Narayanan, a junior at Lynbrook High School, co-founded Future Engineers Camp with Viren Nathan, currently a senior at Cupertino High School, in the summer of 2018.

Future Engineers Camp is a local organization providing inspiring and educative technology camps. It would normally run a computer science and business class for students, but due to the current COVID-19 pandemic leaving many across the globe sheltered at home, the company is running a free, global pitch competition, Narayanan said in an email to India-West.

“We noticed a surplus of such programs for high-schoolers, but severe lack of supply for the middle-school level — a gap we intend to fill,” Nathan said in the email. “To enrich students during these unprecedented times, we are making this program completely free,” Narayanan added.

The LaunchPad Pitch Competition will be run from May 22 to June 5 and will be open to all students from 9 to 14 years old around the world.

To participate, a student may either go solo, or form a team of up to four people. If a participant would like to form a team with some friends, Narayanan advised to add their names in the text field of the sign-up sheet on the company website, and have your teammates do the same.

As for the submission, there is no need to code, although an app or website is an option (no extra points are given for a website or app, but it may help with your pitch), the website notes.

The fundamental requirement is a 500-word essay or a two-to-three minute video which provides a comprehensive plan of the mission, logistics and execution of your business.

After signing up, the company will contact you with more information regarding the event, it said.

“Our goal with this competition is to inspire a passion for business and computer science in students and help them take advantage of these unprecedented times to come up with solutions to real-world problems,” Narayanan said.

To guide students through the process of creating a business, they will be hosting workshops led by Ari Nazem and Manu Iribarren, Stanford University students and founders of Kairon Institute, the email noted.

The competition will also work with different non-profits that help differently-abled youth to provide the same opportunities for everyone to ensure the world can be more inclusive.

More details about the competition can be found by visiting https://futureengineerscamp.com/launchpad/.

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