NFTE New England’s 2019 Youth Entrepreneurship Summit (YES) Focuses on Career-Readiness

NFTE hosted the 12th Youth Entrepreneurship Summit (YES) at Babson College on Thursday, March 21, 2019. The YES event is the largest youth entrepreneurship conference in New England.

More than 200 NFTE students ages 14-18 from across the New England region participated, along with more than 50 community volunteers.

NFTE alum Olivia Nguyen was the keynote speaker. Nguyen, also known as Fiyabomb, is an internationally known fine artist and pop-art painter whose work focuses on women’s empowerment and feminism. Nguyen set the tone of the day, offering insight into her journey to successful entrepreneur and inspiration to those gathered.

Then it was on to a NFTE-style competition, where students got to pitch their business ideas to a distinguished panel of judges representing the local business community and event sponsors. Competitors included NFTE students from The MET, New Bedford High School, Lowell High School, Sport, and Medical Sciences Academy, Southeastern Regional Technical High School, and Joseph P. Keefe Technical High School. The Judges’ Choice winner was Empower Confidence, a business founded by Adam Salem & Enzo Battaglia from The MET in Providence, RI. The Audience Choice winner was FormFixer, a business founded by Jonathan Spalti of Joseph P. Keefe Technical High School in Framingham, MA.

Following the pitch competition, students heard from a panel of entrepreneurs and industry professionals, engaged with other NFTE students from across New England, and had an opportunity to work with more than 50 volunteer business plan coaches to refine their business ideas and pitches.

This year the YES event was presented by Ernst and Young LLP (EY), with additional support from Santander BankMoody’s Analytics and BNY Mellon.

Once again, the interactions of the day at YES showed each student who participated that the New England business community is ready to support their success whatever path they choose – whether that means entering the workforce right after high school, furthering their education, or launching their own business.

 

Highlights of YES 2019