Student entrepreneurs call upon the public to cast their votes online at ElevatorPitch2010.com

NEW YORK – Sept. 15, 2010 – Savvy teen entrepreneurs from around the country are counting on America’s vote to be crowned champion of the NFTE Elevator Pitch Challenge, Presented by E*TRADE Bank (www.elevatorpitch2010.com). As part of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE)’s 2010 OppenheimerFunds/NFTE National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge, teen entrepreneurs representing 22 businesses get 30 seconds to sell their ideas to the world in an online video “elevator pitch,” and a shot at $2,500 and two round-trip plane tickets donated by Southwest Airlines to help get their idea off the ground or advance their education.

Online voting is now open through October 3 at www.elevatorpitch2010.com where the public is encouraged to view the elevator pitch videos and cast their votes for the best business ideas. Each of the 22 businesses is the brainchild of a high school or middle school student from a low-income community who learned about starting his or her own business in school classes based on NFTE’s unique, experiential entrepreneurship curriculum.

“We’re excited to add the NFTE Elevator Pitch Challenge, Presented by E*TRADE Bank to our annual national business plan competition finals line-up,” said Amy Rosen, president and CEO of NFTE. “Our mission at NFTE is to inspire young people to stay in school, to recognize business opportunities and to plan for successful futures. Not only does the elevator pitch competition offer these talented teens financial incentive, it’s a fun and creative way for them to gain very valuable business skills.”

Voters can cast one vote for their favorite elevator pitch videos each day until the end of the contest, so long as they provide their e-mail address. The elevator pitch competition winner will be announced at the 2010 OppenheimerFunds/NFTE National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge, presented by Kathryn W. Davis, on October 5 in New York City.

About the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship
Too many young people today drop out of school and struggle to break the cycle of poverty. Since 1987, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) has been inspiring young people to pursue educational opportunities, start their own businesses, and succeed in life. By providing entrepreneurship education programs relevant to the real world, NFTE empowers students to own their educations in and out of the classroom and to find their own path to success. Hundreds of thousands of students have discovered opportunity all around them through entrepreneurship via thousands of certified educators worldwide. NFTE supports active programs in 21 states and 10 other countries through our network of program offices and licensed partners. Entrepreneurs are a powerful driver of economic growth and NFTE sows the seeds of innovation in students worldwide. For more information, visit www.nfte.com.