Springside Chestnut High Academy senior Andrew Cramer took second place in last month’s Diamond Challenge, the renowned high-school business competition hosted by the University of Delaware’s Horn Entrepreneurship program. His website, CampusSelect, competed against 700 international entries over a four-round event.
Cramer’s website came from SCH’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and a class he took in 10th grade (read more about the project in this Technical.ly profile from last December). His service allows students looking at colleges to buy one-on-one video sessions with college students currently attending any of 40-plus schools to get an honest, personalized, unbiased opinion.
CampusSelect advanced through Diamond Challenge local rounds during the winter on the Business Concept track, one of the two options for competing students. The judges put him through to the semifinals and then the three-entry finals. Cramer credits his success to his novel idea and progression of his work.
“People hadn’t really heard about video chatting for colleges before,” Cramer said. “This was a new concept people hadn’t heard of. A lot of other teams were, say, a new type of water filter or a new type drone, a new type of this or that. Then when they hear of CampusSelect, they say, ‘OK, that’s interesting because it’s directly impactful.’”
Cramer says it’s about giving more students access to prospective colleges.
“I can show people results of what’s already happened and tell people stories of someone I connected from Dubai who wanted to learn more about UCLA or someone who’s all the way in Vancouver and would never have the opportunity to visit the University of Pennsylvania. For a quick 20, 25 bucks, they were able to get their questions answered.”
While Cramer will start at Penn’s Wharton School of Business this fall, CampusSelect and its success will benefit future classes at SCH. Edward Glassman, the director of the school’s entrepreneurship program, noted how much he and his staff have learned about supporting student projects.
“We’re building this innovation ecosystem where now when students hit 11th and 12th grade, I’m hopeful that more and more of them will follow Andrew’s pathway and devote the countless hours and tireless effort into going beyond the classroom,” Glassman said. “A kid with a great idea, he or she can test it on the market and get customers.”-30-