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L.A. Youth Entrepreneurs Advance to National Pitch Competition

·3 min read

Students Split $3,000 in Prize Money

LOS ANGELES, June 02, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Imagine participating in a Shark Tank-style pitch-off as a young person, winning funds to further your business—and advancing from a regional competition to a national arena.

The winners of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) Los Angeles Metro Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge Finals will do just that, taking their business ideas to New York mid-October to vie for the title of National Champion and prizes from a pool of $18,000.

Participating students presented their original business ideas to a panel of esteemed judges, who named three winners. The first- and second-place winners, who will receive $1500 and $1000, respectively, will continue to Nationals. The third-place winner will receive $500.

  • 1st Place: Ivy Chieng – SwigSafe, Florence Nightingale Middle School, LA County

    • SwigSafe is a safety-focused company that develops chemically treated napkins that turn a different color if they encounter a drink that has been drugged.

  • 2nd Place: Jaydon Tsan – Book World, Florence Nightingale Middle School, LA County

    • Book World is an education-based app that provides fun and engaging reading lessons for young children.

  • 3rd Place: Emely Felix and Sarai Novoa – GOES, Paramount High School, Los Angeles

    • GOES is a meal-kit for busy millennials that makes eating delicious, nutritious food easy.

“Young people are changing the world—there is no question about it. We are so proud of every student and their commitment to entrepreneurship,” said Dr. J.D. LaRock, CEO of NFTE. “Each young entrepreneur’s innovative idea signifies an opportunity to address key challenges facing communities around the globe. We activate the entrepreneurial mindset in young people, and this is critical to growing businesses, economies, and communities.”

The competition took place on May 19 at The Brickyard at Playa Vista – Loyola, Marymount University, with a panel of expert judges, including:

  • Angela Milano, EY

  • Charles Choice, NFTE alumnus, Do or Dier Foundation       

  • Hannah Busick, Truist

  • Rachel Butler-Green, Choreographer, Entrepreneur, and Loyola Marymount Alumna

  • Joseph H. DeBriyn, Citizens Business Bank

The NFTE Los Angeles Metro Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge was presented by EY with signature support from Keystone National Properties (KNPRE), and associate support from the Citi Foundation, KoBre Companies, Mary Kay, Inc. and the Singleton Foundation. Additional support is provided by Sunkist and Pacific Premier Bank.

About NFTE

Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) is a global nonprofit organization that provides high-quality entrepreneurship education to middle and high school students from under-resourced communities, as well as programs for college students and adults. NFTE reaches 50,000+ students annually in 25 states across the U.S. and offers programs in 18 additional countries. We have educated more than a million students through in-school, out-of-school, college, and summer camp programs, offered in person and online. To learn more about how we are promoting inclusive capitalism and building the next generation of diverse entrepreneurs, visit www.nfte.com.

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CONTACT: Denise Berkhalter, APR Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) (212) 232-3333 deniseb@nfte.com Joanne Lessner Lambert (212) 222-7436 jlessner@lambert.com