|Jamila Payne with Nia Froome, this year's winner|
You could actually feel the energy and excitement when getting off the elevator at the 3rd floor of the Millennium Broadway Hotel. Kids from all over the country were talking and meeting each other for the first time. The parents and teachers were just as excited and nervous as the kids were (maybe even more nervous in some cases). It’s the 2010 OppenheimerFunds/ NFTE National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge and we had 32 student finalists representing 28 businesses competing for a grand-prize of $10,000.
All of the finalists were winners of business plan competitions from their respective regions, and were required to create business plans as part of entrepreneurial classes they took at school. As part of their coursework, NFTE students receive hands-on training in launching a business and learn the real-world relevance of math, reading and writing to their businesses.
New to this year’s national competition was the NFTE Elevator Pitch Challenge 2010, presented by E*TRADE Bank. Each of the finalists submitted a 30 second online video which pitches their business idea, and prior to the competition they were voted on by the general public. The winner of this year’s pitch competition was Steven Gordon, CEO of TattooID, from Brooklyn, NY. Be sure to check out his great elevator pitch here.
|Steve Mariotti, Bill Glavin, Nia Froome, and Amy Rosen|
After a long day of presenting for all the students it came down to the four finalists representing three businesses, Crystal Vo, Nia Froome, Belma Ahmetovic and Zermina Velic. In the end though Nia Froome dazzled the judges with her Mamma Nia’s Vegan Bakery and brought home 1st place with her amazing presentation. Belma Ahmetovic and Zermina Velic of Beta Bytes took 2nd place, and Crystal Vo of Sweet Tooth Bites came in 3rd place.
You can find out more information about all the students, and their businesses, that competed this year at the NFTE website, and be sure to also keep an eye on our Facebook page for videos and photos from the challenge as well!