Intel expands college-level competition

CEO Paul Otellini broadens his company's initiatives to spur young entrepreneurs and to get more tech into the hands of students worldwide.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Intel CEO Paul Otellini announced on Tuesday expanded initiatives to spur entrepreneurship and education.

Speaking at the World Congress on IT in Amsterdam, Otellini said the annual Intel Challenge will spread beyond its previous arenas in Europe, Asia, North America, and South America to include France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

The Intel Challenge is a competition that awards seed money to college students who create the most innovative and effective business plans. The criteria includes creating a positive effect on society and a positive return on investment by tapping into fields such as semiconductors, nanotechnology, mobile and wireless, and life sciences.

Intel CEO Paul Otellini
Intel CEO Paul Otellini Intel

Students who compete in the challenge in November can win up $150,000 to build their dream businesses.

Otellini sees the Intel Challenge as a way to help kick-start the next generation of jobs.

"In the next decade, another half billion people will enter the workforce, and we will need to create the conditions to generate meaningful jobs for them and for the existing workforce," Otellini said in a press release about his speech. "The right investments today to create the innovators and industries of the future will put the world on the path toward economic growth."

Otellini also pledged to expand the company's initiatives in education.

Through a new "100x100" effort, for example, the company is aiming to get PCs into the hands of 100 million students and teachers worldwide and to reach 100 countries with educational programs and hardware by 2014.

The "100x100" initiative is part of Intel's World Ahead program, which works to provide affordable computers and broadband access in emerging countries. Since the World Ahead launch in 2006, Otellini said, Intel has trained more than 7 million teachers in 60 countries how to use technology in the classroom.

The CEO touted other Intel initiatives as well, such as the Classmate PC, a Netbook designed specifically for students. He also mentioned the Magellan Initiative, a Portuguese government project that gives Netbooks based on the Classmate PC design to elementary school students.