Discover how YOU can help change the world.

Join a BUILD virtual design challenge – a fun, online experience that gives students the foundational hands-on skills you’ll need to think and act like an entrepreneur.

An entrepreneur is

And makes money while doing it!

Have fun, meet new people, and

  • get new skills that help you in school and a job 
  • practice public speaking
  • collaborate in teams
  • learn to identify and solve a client problem
  • start mastering the skills you’ll need to make a difference
  • share your creativity

Who is BUILD?

For the last 20 years BUILD has helped over 10,000 young people be the boss of their own company, but now we’re helping students learn not just to make a profit but also make a difference. This is your chance to use entrepreneurial mindset and thinking to actually make an impact in your community. When you join a Design Challenge, you use entrepreneurial skills to help solve some of life’s toughest problems. BUILD believes that you, the next generation of leaders, have some amazing ideas to help make the world a better place.

BUILD is a nonprofit that envisions an educational system in which all students, regardless of background, are engaged and prepared for their personal and professional success.

In this Challenge, students solve big problems just like the world’s best entrepreneurs. BUILD asks youth what they want to solve and then designs challenges around that question which allows students to learn foundational principles of building a business (and get all the way to an investing pitch). When it’s done they have the opportunity to keep developing their skills in a year-long BUILD program!

You don’t need to know sales or how to be an entrepreneur to help students – we’ll handle that! We need you to support the student in each step of the challenge and celebrate the results!

Are you up for the challenge?

Select a topic below or scroll down to learn more about Challenges


First? It’s fun!

And the best part of doing a Challenge, is that they have both PERSONAL and PROFESSIONAL benefits.


Challenges are guided, interactive team projects. When you join a BUILD Challenge, you’ll:

Develop the foundation skills for creating your own business

Make new friends

Work in a team

Design a creative solution for a real problem or need.

First: Each Challenge asks a question for you to think about. This is the focus of the Challenge.

Then: You work through the steps to design a product, service, or campaign solution for a client.

PRODUCT – something to make and sell

SERVICE – provide help for a need

CAMPAIGN – an action for a political or social goal

Each BUILD Challenge uses the Design Thinking model to teach Human-Centered Design and real-world Entrepreneurial Skills.


Each Challenge has both Student and Educator Guides as well as Educator Training.


In Empathize you:

  • pick a client
  • get to know them through recorded interviews
  • use empathy to see the world through their eyes
  • identify a need or problem they have

In the Define and Ideate steps, you:

  • develop and shape a solution to your client’s need or problem

In Prototype and Test you:

  • Sketch the concept to identify the look or design of the solution
  • Fill out a Storyboard to show how someone would use or interact with the solution.
    don’t worry you don’t have to be able to draw!
  • and share those on Instagram and get feedback.
  • Then you’ll work the circular nature of develop-test-improve-test to make a solution that really works

Finally, You will sell your vision in a pitch.

Learning self-promotion and sales skills while sharing your amazing work!


BUILD’s COVID-19 Virtual Design Challenge is 100% FREE.

Educator training is a minimum of 2 hours. Educators are required to facilitate and need to attend a training session to access the full material.


Are you a student in grades 8-12 in the US? Then YOU can! Older or younger than that? You should email us to talk more.


You’ll need…

  • A pen or pencil;
  • An Internet connection to access to the Challenge Website;
  • A computer to download a few handouts (a student guide, a sketch/storyboard template, and a teacher/parent guide).

If you don’t have a way to print you can look at the handout on your phone or computer.


BUILD’s COVID-19 Virtual Design Challenge can be done in as little as 10 hours. It’s generally done either over several days or weeks as a part of a classroom. The decision is up to the teacher that students work with. Sometimes people want to work on it more, because it’s interesting!

What have others said about doing a Challenge?

I got to work with new people and made new friends, while learning the design thinking process.

NYC Student

One highlight would be meeting other people and getting an experience of thinking out of the box.

Los Angeles Student

How we were able to come up with a real world solution that can help many people, in a matter of days.

Oakland Student

The project given was interesting and being given different clients with interesting stories made it fascinating to be able to brainstorm and create solutions

NYC student

Personally, I enjoyed being able to work with others to solve an issue.

NYC student

Learning proper etiquette in the workplace.

NYC student

The zoom sessions really improved my communication and collaboration skills.

NYC Student