In response to the continuing decline of innovative leaders coming out of the US education system, the Acton Challenge seeks to change how leaders are identified and cultivated. "Many of tomorrow’s business leaders are stuck in cubes impatiently awaiting the opportunity to show they have what it takes," says Jeff Neeley, Acton Challenge Director. "We believe a select few can change the course of their lives, industries and the world if given the chance to prove themselves. With industry Guides – real rock stars in their trades – and the best in entrepreneurship learning experiences, we are ready to connect and equip the next generation of world-changing business leaders."
The Acton Challenge is comprised of three simultaneous challenges in the fields of energy, real estate and education innovation that are open to anyone who wants to compete to be a game-changer within their industry. Acton has partnered with industry leaders who will serve as Guides by overseeing the Acton Challenge and mentoring the finalists. These guides include energy CEOS and entrepreneurs, education innovation leaders and disrupters, and real estate developers and industry leaders.
Each Acton Challenge consists of three phases: Qualification, The Arena and The Main Event:
- Qualification - The Qualification phase is a series of online challenges that begins today and ends on May 18. Challenges include intense questions, simulations and real-world exercises designed to demonstrate your ability to follow through and think critically. Assignments are completed at your own pace and uploaded for evaluation by your potential mentors.
- The Arena - In May or June, 40 survivors of the Qualification phase will be invited to Austin, Texas to participate in a one-day event on the Acton campus. At this event, participants will engage in intense case discussions and meet the Guides. At the end of the event, each Guide will choose an entrepreneur to guide and mentor for the third and last phase, the Main Event.
- The Main Event - From June 18 to September 21, the finalists will compete in a set of challenges and activities which will allow the Guides to develop a better understanding of the finalists and their skills. The Guides will then decide which participant will become the 2012 Acton Rising Star in their field. This phase requires a 12 hour weekly time commitment and an investment of $1,500 to cover the use of Acton's proprietary online platform.
You can register online for the Acton Challenge for $25. The Qualification phase ends on May 18, so make sure you register early enough to complete all the online challenges. You must register on the website for the Acton Challenge for your field:
For more information about the Acton MBA in Entrepreneurship program, check out our interview with Acton's Founder and Master Teacher Jeff Sandefer.