Click to toggle navigation menu.

Next Generation Tech

Developing the future of technology

The Next Generation Tech (NGT) program is an opportunity for Pinellas County high school students to win scholarship money and develop real-world tech and business.

Think “Shark Tank” blended with “American Idol” with a tech focus. This award-winning program is a unique experience that allows you to take your idea – working alongside business mentors – and turn it into a viable marketable product. You can’t help but have fun in the process!


This is a student-driven program from start to finish. Students take on roles such as Project Manager, Business Analyst, Software Developer, etc. Each student team will participate in workshops that will help take their idea and turn it into a product prototype, learning from a diversified group of industry experts.

Students earn a “Technology Innovation” certificate for attending the first three workshops. After the third workshop, the teams submit their product pitch to be selected as a finalist to compete for the grand prize.

The type of products and technologies students are developing include Mobile apps, Web apps, video games, Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR), Internet of Things (IOT), Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Mentors represent 20-plus local companies, such as Malwarebytes, Raymond James, Tech Data, Nielsen, Achieva, Wells Fargo, Catalina, GTE financial and more.

Their expertise includes product management, business analysis, programming, user-interface, architecture, cybersecurity, marketing, project management and more. Networking with these professionals can open doors to internships and other opportunities. The winning team from 2018-19 had the opportunity to meet with Kevin Harrington, the original shark from Shark Tank. This year’s first place team will also be awarded a business accelerator package.

Competition Information

Are you innovative? Do you have an idea that could make a difference in our community? Then the Next Generation Tech Competition is for you! You don’t have to be a technical whiz to participate, just innovative.  The competition is open to any high school student attending a Pinellas County public high school.

Form a team of 3 to 5 students and open the door to opportunities. Just follow these steps:

Your team will be set up in the Basecamp online tool with your team’s project folder. Once this is done, you will be sent an email with the link along with your user ID and password.

Program begins on October 28, 2020. If you have any questions, please contact info@connectit360.org.

115 Students who competed in 2019-20

$15k Combined start-up prize money for winning teams

24 Mentors and judges from local companies

Helpful Information

Want to know more? Click below to view our list of Frequently Asked Questions and read a blog about NGT – both written by Matthew Werneken of InSite, the winning team from the 2018-19 competition from Palm Harbor University High School.