September Timeline Article

Author: Joy Xu

Welcome to the 2019-2020 Blue Ocean Student Entrepreneurship Competition! This is the largest online entrepreneurship competition for high school students, by high school students. This is an amazing place to submit your creative pitch ideas and win thousands in cash prizes! Over the next few months, you will be gathering a team, finding a unique problem within your community to solve, learning about Blue Ocean concepts, creating a successful business, pitching your idea, and getting judged by global business leaders. Competing in this opportunity is guaranteed to open new doors for your ideas. 

Creating and pitching a unique business may sound intimidating, but we have compiled a monthly timeline to guide you in this process. We will also release an article each month that corresponds with the timeline. This way, the process will get broken down into manageable steps. If, along the way, you have any questions, you can contact us directly at

Before reading on, make sure to gather a team of 2-4 people or decide that you are going to work alone and then register online at Student Registration.

Now that you are registered, let’s get started! For the month of September, participants should familiarize themselves with Blue Ocean concepts.  

What are Blue Ocean concepts and how do they relate to this competition? 

Our competition is inspired and backed by the ideas and message of international bestseller Blue Ocean Shift and Blue Ocean Strategy. Blue Ocean Shift is all about moving away from the status quo, “red oceans”, and into unknown market space. As opposed to red oceans, tapping into a unique need/demand will make competition irrelevant and allow your business to stand out in value and cost. To read more about what Blue Ocean Strategy is, click here or here.   You can also visit our resources page: Blue Ocean Resources

Let’s look at an example of Blue Ocean Shift:

The hair salon and barber shop industries are good examples of a red ocean. The competition is fierce and there is little room for growth. Drybar saw this, pushed away from the traditional hair salon, and opened up new market space by turning a blow out into an emotional experience. They eliminated haircuts & coloring and reduced equipment. Instead, they added a cocktail bar to raise the overall ambiance of the store. This also allowed them to raise the convenience and personal connection with the customers. As opposed to the traditional hair salon, Drybar created a fun experience and different blowout styles. That is how Drybar shifted from a red ocean to a blue ocean of opportunities. You can find more examples of blue ocean shifts here.

As you can see, blue oceans are often created by finding new market space. The 6 ways to create a blue ocean business are called “The Six Path Framework.” It includes: looking across alternative industries, looking across strategic groups within the industry, looking across buyer groups, looking across complementary products/services, looking across time trends, and creating an emotional appeal to buyers. To watch a video explaining the six path framework, click here.

As you all come up with creative business ideas, try to keep these Blue Ocean concepts in your mind. Explore the business examples on our website. The best business ideas come from problems encountered in your daily life. Keep these questions in mind: How does your business move away from existing, cutthroat industries? How does your business create new demand and eliminate all competition?

This month, explore the resources on our website, Blue Ocean Strategy website, and become certified with the Smartly Blue Ocean course.  Collaborate with your teammates (or by yourself) and look to your daily life for business idea inspirations. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us through our email and/or social media! Our instagram is @blueoceancompetition and our email is

Good luck, have fun, and we’ll talk to you again next month!

Blue Ocean Student Executive Committee

Blue OceanComment