NY Metro Students Split $3000 in Business Pitch Competition

Share Article

NFTE New York Metro Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge winners advance to national championship in September

In the current uncertain climate, young people are realizing more than ever that entrepreneurship offers an opportunity for personal empowerment. - Dr. J.D. LaRock, President & CEO, NFTE

Schools may be closed, but that didn’t stop these highly motivated young entrepreneurs from refining their business plans and preparing their pitches for the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) New York Metro Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge. Despite logistical obstacles stemming from the pandemic, this annual competition, the culmination of NFTE’s yearlong entrepreneurship curriculum, took place on time—and online. Participating students presented their original business ideas by video to a panel of esteemed judges, who named three winners. The winners, who will receive $1500, $1000, and $500, respectively, will advance to NFTE’s National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge in September, where they will compete for a grand prize of $12,000.

  • 1st Place: Charlize Leon, 16, from Perth Amboy High School, a member of the JRF school-based program, won with a business pitch for Gifting Bites, a mobile app that allows businesses to “gift” surplus food items to nonprofit organizations or consumers in need.
  • 2nd Place: Stefania Arroyave, 19, from Lincoln High School, won with her pitch for G-Pillow, a memory foam cushion to promote comfort and good posture while playing video games.
  • 3rd Place: Danielle Amo-Nyarko, 16, and Abby Camara, 15, from the High School of Economics and Finance, won with a pitch for Watchable, a watch worn by a child and their parent or guardian to ensure safety.

“In the current uncertain climate, young people are realizing more than ever that entrepreneurship offers an opportunity for personal empowerment,” said NFTE president and CEO, Dr. J.D. LaRock. “Employers look for candidates with an entrepreneurial mindset, which the NFTE curriculum fosters. Whether or not they ultimately run their own companies, our students are being set up to succeed, and we are eager to support their endeavors.”

Student business pitches were judged by a panel of experts that included:

  • Shawn Davis, Santander Bank
  • Mike Kacsmar, EY
  • Katie Morgan, SAP
  • Seckin Yilgoren, Mastercard

The NFTE New York Metro Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge was presented by EY, Mastercard and Santander, with signature support from Citi and Microsoft, associate support from Riskified, and additional support from Taylor Hanex, SAB Capital and Merrill Lynch.

About NFTE
Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) is a global nonprofit that activates the entrepreneurial mindset and builds startup skills in young people from under-resourced communities. Reaching more than 100,000 middle and high school students annually, NFTE works with schools and community partners in 25 U.S. states and 10 countries around the world. Leveraging classroom teachers and volunteers from top-tier companies, NFTE’s research-based model teaches students how to identify a business opportunity and launch a business; helps them learn about the range of jobs and occupations available to them; and develops their “entrepreneurial mindset” — a set of skills including creativity, adaptability, communication, and collaboration that leads to success in any career. Since 1987, NFTE has educated 1.2 million young people worldwide, helping thousands launch businesses and companies of all sizes. Learn more at nfte.com.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Joanne Lessner

Brenda Duong
Visit website