Top Two Businesses in New England Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge Will Go to Nationals

The three finalists were in top pitching form the evening of June 11 at Aloft Boston Seaport District as they vied for the title of NFTE New England Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge Winner. Meet the winners:

  • First place went to Lowell High School’s sixteen-year-old Caitlin McNamara, the founder of Spritz Away, a business dedicated to helping those with anxiety to enjoy a breath of fresh air with just one spray. With a variety of scents to please the senses, Spray Away acts as a relaxation device when stress is at its highest peak.
  • Second place went to New Bedford High School’s seventeen-year-old Amanda Braga, the creator of TB Indicator, a kit that includes six tennis balls with sensors that will ensure fairness in a tennis match​. The sensors will be able to determine the accuracy of the calls​, allowing players to become less frustrated with their opponent, and thereby enhancing the performance in the game; making the match quicker and more efficient.
  • Third place went to Joseph P. Keefe Technical School’s seventeen-year-old Shane McConnell, the creator of Final Experience, a business that manufactures high-quality custom props for cosplay costumes giving cosplayers an experience they will never forget.

Caitlin and Amanda qualified to advance to national competition and will represent the New England region at NFTE’s National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge in New York City on October 16, 2019.

The young entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas to a distinguished panel of judges that included:

  • Jane Steinmetz, Managing Principal, EY
  • Richard Couch, CFO, Santander
  • Kim Oliver, Director of Department of Families, Children, Youth & Recreation, City of Hartford
  • Ilana Finley, VP Global Communications & Social Impact, Converse
  • Rick Fedorowich, Managing Partner, J. Locke & Company

It was an exciting evening of pitching! As the judges deliberated, the audience was treated to the keynote speaker, John Harthorne, founder of MassChallenge, who shared his wonderful insights.

The evening program was emceed by Angela Ivana, NFTE alum and founder and CEO of CosmoSafe. Honorees included Jack McCarthy of Babson College, named NFTE New England Volunteer of the Year. Ernst & Young (EY) was recognized as the NFTE New England Corporate Volunteer of the Year. Anne Nguyen, a business and entrepreneurship teacher at Sports and Medical Sciences Academy in Hartford, CT, was named the winner of the NFTE New England Model Teacher Challenge. Nguyen now advances to the national finals in the Model Teacher Challenge.

The NFTE New England Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge was presented by EY, Microsoft, and Santander, with additional support from HOPR Ventures and NETSCOUT. Thank you to our judges, volunteers, and partners for their time, talent, and support, and to our community of teachers who nurtured their student’s ideas and entrepreneurial mindset. You have made NFTE New England possible throughout the 2018-2019 school year.

Congratulations to all the talented students who competed this year and our stellar young entrepreneurs who are moving on to the nationals!

Follow your region’s young entrepreneurs on the #RoadtoNationals and scope out the competition. Winner takes all in NYC this fall!