Lights. Camera. Action! AICPA Project Innovation

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is now accepting entries for the 2012-2013 "Project Innovation: Competition of Creative Excellence." This year's competition challenges high school students to develop an idea for a hit TV show focused on the accounting profession. A total of $15,000 in student scholarships and grant money for their schools will go to the top three teams.

The Project Innovation competition - sponsored by the AICPA's "Start Here, Go Places." website - calls for teams of two to four high school students to serve as "TV writers and producers." Teams will develop a proposal that provides an overview of their show, including a production budget and a script they can pitch to "the network" - a panel of judges appointed by the AICPA.
 
"Currently, there aren't any shows on television that capture the wide range of possibilities that exist for a CPA," said Heather L. Bunning, AICPA senior manager, High School and Community College Initiatives. "Television and entertainment are top of mind for teenagers today, so we've challenged them to create a potential TV pilot, while offering them a fun and exciting way to learn about accounting and the CPA profession."
 
Entries should include the show's title, the central idea, and character descriptions, highlighting a clear tie-in to the accounting profession. Complete entries must consist of a two-page proposal, a budget, and a preview script to be submitted no later than December 21, 2012. 
 
From there, the judges - acting as executive producers - will narrow down the entries to the top ten teams. Those teams will receive a video camera in order to bring their script to life as a three-minute preview of their pilot. 
 
"Building a fan base and a following for their show are a must, so the competition will include an online public vote for the top ten teams, which will factor into the final decision," added Bunning.
 
The last step of the competition will include a live presentation to a final-round judge, who will play the part of key decision maker at the network. This will give teams one last chance to pitch their show, explain why it would be a smash hit, and why they should be crowned the winners. 
 
The winning teams will receive scholarships for themselves and funding for their schools, with the first-place team taking home $4,000 in scholarships and $3,000 for their school, second place winning $3,000 in scholarships and $2,000 for their schools, and third place netting $2,000 in scholarships and $1,000 for their school.
 
Students should visit the Project Innovation website page for more information and to submit their entry.
 
Related articles:
 
Source: October 15, 2012, AICPA Press Release 

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