Optimal Sponsors Intern Tech and Data Challenge for COVID, Jobs, Small Business and Mobile App Development

Date: August 11, 2020

COVID-19 has interrupted corporate internships, but Optimal Solutions has developed a safe alternative.

Due to COVID-19 abruptly ending many summer internships from happening, Optimal has offered an engaging solutions challenge. Close to 200 college students are participating in a series of innovation projects around four main topics:

  • Mobile App development for e-commerce professional services
  • The post-COVID-19 job market: matching people to jobs
  • Trends in VC funding: insights for diversification
  • Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZones): Insights to optimize the program

Over 50 teams of students are collaborating to present innovative solutions to one of these four areas. Data and other relevant assets are provided to each team and each project will be evaluated on these criteria:

  • Plan and approach
  • Originality and creativity
  • Feasibility and Probability of Success
  • Likely impact

After initial submission, ten finalist teams are competing in Round 2. Final presentations will happen August 14, and the top three winners will be announced August 15th.

Optimal has previously held competitions for both high school and college students. In particular, the University of Maryland’s “Be the Solution” Business Plan competition provided awards for the best start-up concept which resulted in successful and sustainable solutions such as food recovery and redistribution. See this press release.

Optimal’s goal with its current competition is to engage aspiring students with real-world challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, economic development challenges and accessible tech.  As this nation emerges to a new reality, this style of internship allows students to continue their growth and contributions, companies to engage with them and societal challenges be addressed.