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Dylan’s Story

The Accidental Beekeeper: how a NFTE class project turned into a source of college funding with positive environmental impact.

  • When Dylan enrolled in a NFTE class at his high school he thought it would be “just another course” and had no idea it would change his entire way of thinking.
  • Pressed to come up with a business idea for his class project, he remembered a backyard his father had bought thinking it might be a good hobby.
  • Dylan’s beekeeping business was an unexpected success. He won his classroom pitch competition then went on to win a regional business plan competition and qualified to compete at the national level, taking home an even larger cash prize as a runner up at the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge later that year.
  • Bolstered by his competition success, he continued to grow his business while at college and is now the third largest beekeeper in the state of Connecticut.

You may have heard that bees, as a species, are endangered and this endangers our planet as a whole. That’s what Dylan and his learned one night on the Discovery Channel. Concerned and motivated, Dylan’s father bought a beehive and some bees, like a number of people around the country. This family hobby may have remained just that, but Dylan’s story goes a little differently. Why? Dylan took a NFTE course and he began to think like an entrepreneur.

“I only took the class because I thought that it would be easy. I had no idea of the impact it would have on me,” he says. As he learned about business and the empowerment that owning your own business brings, he started to think about how he could use entrepreneurship in his own life. And he remembered the beehive sitting in the backyard.

He decided that he would build his NFTE business plan around it. And not only did Dylan go on to win the pitch competition in his NFTE class, but he won in regional competitions and then ultimately was a runner up in NFTE’s National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge.

Dylan’s entrepreneurial thinking didn’t end after competition season. He went full throttle on his business, not only producing the honey but also developing a variety of honey-based products. Using the skills he learned as a NFTE student, Dylan continued to manage his business on the side while attending college and he is currently the third largest beekeeper in the state of Connecticut.

“I only took the class because I thought that it would be easy. I had no idea of the impact that it would have on me.” — Dylan Martin

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NFTE drives student success in many ways


Here are just a few of the businesses that NFTE students have gone on to build

Keegan Bond Harmon

Laura Martinelli

Ehfar Films

Dylan Martin

Mill Brook Honey, LLC

Mathew Galvez

Lotta Worldwide

Carlos Feitosa

Shine Soaps

Arti Shala

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