Actor Nick Cannon launches business competition for Wilmington-area youth

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Actor, comedian, executive producer, and business mogul, Nick Cannon in partnership with Brigade Boys & Girls Club (BBGC) is launching a new competition for Wilmington area youth titled America’s Teen Mogul (ATM) Competition and Career Readiness Training Workshops.

The ATM student business plan competition is designed to expose youth ages 12 to 19 to global career and entrepreneurship opportunities available in industries with high demand careers, including Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

The ATM program is open to students from New Hanover, Brunswick, Pender, and Onslow counties.

The final ATM event will take place in collaboration with public schools’ regional Career and Technical Education programs, on Friday, May 31 at the UNC at Wilmington.

With an ever-growing pool of technology related careers in the Wilmington-area, the final ATM event will seek to help educate students and their families about entrepreneurship, career opportunities, and course offerings that promote career development.

Students will also have an opportunity to meet Wilmington-area employers and get early exposure to career paths so that upon entering high school they can begin career preparation, regardless if the career requires a four-year degree or not.

“I am truly inspired by the collective community support for this event and excited about this wonderful opportunity to teach and expose Wilmington area youth to the myriad of career and entrepreneurship opportunities available in the global economy,” said Nick Cannon. “As a product of the public-school system, I feel a sense of responsibility to give back and to motivate others get involved.”

Student teams will present business concepts, products they produce, and business problems they solve in collaboration with members of the local business community.

Nick Cannon will personally attend and serve as lead judge with an ABC Shark Tank style panel of local high-demand industry leaders and entrepreneurs.

Previous ATM business concept favorites include biomedical solutions, game design apps, crime-solving apps, healthcare innovations, podcast focused on internet safety, and technology based mental health solutions.

Students will compete for cash prizes of up to $5,000, a pair of Nick Cannon’s NCREDIBLE Wireless Headsets by T-Mobile, and much more.

“Our area was decimated by Hurricane Florence and all schools were closed for several weeks,” said Rick Sears, BBGC, CEO. Programs such as ours, in conjunction with the Nick Cannon Foundation, can go a long way to accelerating learning and getting our youth again focused on the future.”

The Foundation will hold a series of ATM Competition and Career Readiness Workshops leading up to the event.  

“As a product of New Hanover High School, I’m honored to team with BBGC of Wilmington and the local business community in fostering work-based learning and a system of regional career pathways to launch young people and middle-skill adults into good jobs with advancement potential,” said Ronnie Highsmith, Nick Cannon Foundation, Executive Director, Strategic Consultant and Board Member.”

Teens can register for the free ATM Competition by clicking on the ATM Competition tab at to download the Wilmington area ATM rules/guidelines.

Categories: Brunswick, Community, Local, New Hanover, News, Pender

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