T.D. Jakes, UNT Dallas Team for MegaFest Student Pitch Contest

Students will make Shark Tank-style pitches before a panel of judges and could win some of the competition's $50,000 in total prize money.

T.D. Jakes

The new MegaFutures@MegaFest entrepreneurial pitch competition for students in grades six through 12 gives them a chance to be their own boss and possibly win some of $50,000 in prize money being awarded.

The competition was announced this week by T.D. Jakes, CEO of TDJ Enterprises, and Robert Mong, president of the University of North Texas at Dallas.

“There is a hunger across America to start a company, to be one’s own boss, and to give flight to those ideas that allow our young people to drive their own destinies,” Jakes said in a release.

“Our mission is to empower students, transform lives, and strengthen communities.”
Robert Mong

The competition will be part of this year’s MegaFest, the national four-day festival of faith and family held June 28-July 1 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas.

The aim of the competition is to build skills and business experience for the next-generation of innovators and job creators in the U.S., according to a MegaFest release.

This is the third year for the MegaFest event in Dallas.

According to megafest.org, students in the MegaFutures@MegaFest competition will be split into two age groups, and finalists will deliver thee-minute-long Shark Tank-style pitches to a panel of judges on June 29. 

Five finalists and five alternates from grade groups 6-8 and 9-12 will be selected for the in-person entrepreneurial pitches.

“Our mission is to empower students, transform lives, and strengthen communities,” Mong said in the release. “We are tremendously excited to co-sponsor an entrepreneurial competition that both inspires and equips young men and women to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. By starting at a young age, we can help ensure our next generation has the foundation they will need for success.”

Prize money for the competition was donated by PlainsCapital Bank.

Online applications for the contest are open at megafutures.org, and submissions are due by June 12.

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