Blue Ocean high school pitch competition names Dacko executive director

ANN ARBOR –Blue Ocean Student Entrepreneurs Corp., organizers of the Blue Ocean Entrepreneurship Competition, the premier entrepreneurial competition for high school students, announcement that Ted Dacko had been appointed executive director.

The Blue Ocean Entrepreneurship Competition is the largest student-led entrepreneurship competition in the United States. Every year, more than 250 teams from 90 schools and 23 states pitch their innovative concepts to experienced entrepreneurs and businesspeople, receive feedback on their ideas, and compete for cash prizes.

Blue Ocean was founded in 2014 by Nicholas Benavides, then a junior at Centennial High School in Ellicott City, Md. He is now a student at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif.

Benavides said he founded the competition with a mission to educate and excite students about entrepreneurship using the real-life lessons and concepts covered in the entrepreneurial books “Blue Ocean Strategy” and “Blue Ocean Shift.”

“This appointment helps the organization to grow into the kind of competition that we always envisioned,” said Benavides. “Ted Dacko’s commitment to Blue Ocean principles and his vast entrepreneurial experience will be hugely beneficial to the thousands of high school students that we hope to bring into the program.”

Added Blue Ocean co-author Renée Mauborgne: “We are very excited to welcome Ted Dacko into this role. We have highlighted his Blue Ocean accomplishments in our latest book, ‘Blue Ocean Shift,’ and now we can utilize his skills to enhance this already great program.”

Ted Dacko

Dacko has more than 44 years of experience in executive-level management and leadership in sales, marketing, mergers and acquisitions, and the executive office, including serving as CEO of HealthMedia Inc. and founder and principal consultant of Arbor Dakota Strategies. Dacko is also a mentor and board member for several early-stage tech companies and teaches at the University of Michigan in the Center for Entrepreneurship.

“I am honored to be joining this great program,” said Dacko. “Our aim is to bring this competition to every high school in the United States – ensuring that these smart, innovative youth are fully prepared to enter the entrepreneurial marketplace armed with the proven Blue Ocean strategies.”

Registration for the 2018-2019 competition term will begin in September. State and local governments, economic development organizations, and high school or higher education institutions seeking to participate should contact

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