the finalists of the Los Angeles Competition
Spring at the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) means it is time for the students who have completed our youth entrepreneurship course to present the business plans they have been planning for months. The different NFTE offices have each held their Regional Youth Business Plan Challenges, choosing two winning teams to compete in the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge this October. Each participant in the Regional Challenges took the NFTE program to learn lessons on entrepreneurship including opportunity recognition, marketing, finance, and product development. Along the way, working with their NFTE certified teachers and real-world entrepreneurs and leaders as mentors, they formulated an idea for a business based on what they had learned in the NFTE curriculum. The Regional Challenges start in the classrooms rounds move into semi-finals and beyond. Each round gives the students a chance to hone their presentation skills and hear the advice of the local entrepreneurs and businesspeople who serve as competition judges.
2014 will mark the first time the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge is taking place in the Bay Area. On October 9th at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, the regional winners will compete for the $25,000 grand prize in seed capital for their business and scholarships for the young entrepreneurs. The companies they have started show off their incredible business acumen. Bobbie R. will be competing near home soil, having advanced out of the NFTE Bay Area competition. The founder of Apparel of Champions, Bobbie seeks to make customized cheer outfits for school sports teams. Incorporating unique designs onto t-shirts and hoodies, Apparel seeks to capitalize on a sports crazy world (last year’s winner, T&J Soccer, produced customized soccer shin guards). Another California team, this one representing NFTE Los Angeles, will also be aiming to take home the grand prize. Joshua F. and Eddy G. are the co-founders of Time’s Up, a dental health company. They have created a special brand of color changing toothpaste. Incorporating an element of social responsibility into their business plan, Joshua and Eddy have made it a goal to make dental hygiene fun for young children. They hope the playful aspect of Time’s Up can help do just that.
Just outside of New York City, the Westchester County Regional Champions hail from Yonkers, New York. Fatelinda K. and Naryis R. have turned their passion for cosmetics into a business idea that has seen them through to the National Challenge. Their product, the Lindnar Hair Mask, is completely organic, and made with an avocado base. A dynamic team, they hope that their pitch to the judges can help them get that much closer to the venture capital and scholarships available this October. These three teams, and the others from NFTE’s Program Offices and regional partners, will have their presentations ready in the Bay Area on October 9th for the final rounds of the competition. The final three will present their business plans to a distinguished panel of judges, who will have the privilege of crowning the winner. In the meantime they will be sharpening their presentations, working on their 60 second elevator pitches, and, of course, continuing to grow their businesses. In a few months all the students will have had the experience of a lifetime, and one individual or team will go home with $25,000!
Joshua and Eddy presenting the plan for Time's Up
judges at the Los Angeles Regional Competition
Joshua and Eddy, the Los Angeles winners