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Laura’s Story

The entrepreneurial lens: how thinking like an entrepreneur helped a young woman get into college and realize her dream of being a filmmaker.

  • Laura had a passion for filmmaking, but it was through NFTE training that she gained the confidence and the business skills to market her talents.
  • She hit it out of the park as the final presenter at a NFTE pitch competition in high school. She was so persuasive that a university president who happened to be in the audience that night offered her immediate admission, a full-ride scholarship, and a prestigious internship.
  • While still a college student, she was chosen to go to Istanbul and Rwanda to film a documentary.
    Business continues to thrive after seven years and she enjoys growing recognition in her field.

Laura developed her passion for filmmaking as a teen. But she didn’t know how she could turn that passion into a career until she took a NFTE class. That’s when she began to see how to market her talents effectively and build a real business around them. In describing her experience, she explains, “I understood how to pitch and how to market myself. I also learned how to ground my dream with a concrete business plan.” Laura says it was her NFTE experience that gave her the confidence to create her small business, centered around her talents in film.

She credits her participation in NFTE pitch competitions for developing her public speaking abilities and she has found these skills to be of immense value in business. The night she won her school’s business plan competition Paul LeBlanc, the president of Southern New Hampshire University, was in the audience. He was so impressed with Laura’s combined talents for filmmaking and business that he promptly offered her admission — and a $160,000 scholarship — to the university as well as a prestigious internship at Mill Yard Creative, a unique marketing collaborative run by SNHU. A few years later, President LeBlanc would bring Laura on a three-week trip to Istanbul, where she documented on film a summit on human ecology, and Kigali in Rwanda, where she was able to film the first graduating class that had survived the Rwandan genocide.

Since 2013, Laura has been honing her craft and also earning a living making business and promotional videos as well as working in other genres. Her original NFTE business, dubbed EHFAR Films (Everything Happens for A Reason) continues to thrive. She uses her skills to market her talents, she enjoys growing recognition in her field, and she continues to dive in on exciting film projects—such as In Colors, a short narrative film currently in development, which she is directing.

“I understood how to pitch and how to market myself. I also learned how to ground my dream with a concrete business plan.” — Laura Martinelli

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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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