NFTE Founder Steve Mariotti with Edwin Romo
The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) is continuing our work to help at-risk youth stay in school and pursue a brighter future, through higher education or starting their own business. Our programs promote entrepreneurial activities as our students work to connect the classroom experience to the real world. With your support, to date in school year 2012-2013, NFTE has served close to 15,000 students in 675 classrooms across the country. We are pleased to report on two major programs advancing our mission that took place recently: our 2012 National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge and our 2012 World Series of Innovation.
The winners from NFTE Regional Business Plan Competitions around the country gathered in New York City on October 11 for the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge where they presented their business plans to three rounds of judges in an exciting day-long event. These students had been honing not just their unique business ideas, but also the marketing, financial, and operating processes during their time studying NFTE’s curriculum. After three intense rounds, Vincent Quigg of Downey, California took first place for his electronic repair service, TechWorld. His winnings totaled $25,000, including venture capital from MasterCard Worldwide and a Coleman Entrepreneurial Scholarship from GlobalHue. The runners-up each won $5,000: Jesse and Joziah Council of Pennsylvania for their herbal remedy J&J Soothing Cream, and Ohioan Edwin Romo for his ducktape accessories ONYX Wallets. First place in the Elevator Pitch Competition was won by Cale Morrow of Dodge City, Kansas for the presentation for his public speaking camp business, Believable, Inc. All told, NFTE awarded $70,000 in venture capital, scholarships, and other prizes at the Competition, and the students got to promote their companies, hear feedback from successful business executives, and network with top entrepreneurs.
In November, NFTE held its annual World Series of Innovation. Using NFTE’s curriculum and a specific toolkit for each project, students from around the country developed a business idea and marketing video for Innovation Challenges. Over $25,000 was awarded to the top two winning groups to help them further their business and education goals. Among the winners was a group from the Lighthouse Community Charter School in Oakland, California for their development of a “Virtual Closet” smartphone application for Sean John. Coca-Cola’s competition was to concoct a dairy-based beverage for kids and adults, and was won by the coconut, milk, and fruit blend of Pathways Academy of Technology & Design in Hartford, Connecticut. This competition gave students from across the country a chance to add their ideas to NFTE’s legacy, and to seize their entrepreneurial opportunity.
As we celebrate our successes of the first half of 2012-2013, we also look forward to the spring semester when we’ll provide even more young people with NFTE’s life-changing entrepreneurship programming and be inspired by the youth we meet at NFTE’s April Dare to Dream Gala and spring Regional Business Plan Competitions around the country.