PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Five students from Greater Philadelphia-based public high and charter schools have been selected to compete in the final round of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) Philadelphia Regional Business Plan Competition. They will present their business plans to a panel of judges made up of distinguished local entrepreneurs and business leaders on Monday, June 4, 2012 at Quorum at the University City Science Center from 10am to 1pm for the chance to win $2,500 in seed capital and the opportunity to compete in the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge in New York City in October.
“This competition is the pinnacle experience at NFTE, and we’re proud to say that our students continue to impress us with their ingenuity, dedication, and business intuition,” said Sylvia Watts McKinney, executive director of NFTE Philadelphia. “NFTE’s mission is to provide programs that inspire young people from low-income communities to stay in school, to recognize business opportunities and to plan for successful futures. The final round of the competition will reveal all that the students have learned throughout the school year with the help and support of our teachers and volunteers. We want every student to walk away feeling proud that they took a risk and pursued their dream—win or lose.”
THE ROAD TO THE FINALS
Leading up to the Regional Business Plan Competition, over 500 students across Greater Philadelphia created a business plan based on their own special talents and interests. In April, they completed their Classroom Entrepreneurship Challenge, where the winners advanced to NFTE Philadelphia’s Semi-Final Entrepreneurship Challenge on May 22, which was held at SAP’s U.S. headquarters located in Newtown Square, Pa.
“In many ways, SAP is a perfect partner for NFTE, as it represents a microcosm of the world’s economic and educational diversity,” added McKinney. “In addition to hosting our semi-final business plan competition, SAP dedicated 30 volunteers to help as judges, time keepers and room captains. Everyone working at SAP operates under the same mission—to make the world better. That is NFTE’s goal, too.”
The five finalists competing in the final round include:
- Terry Caldwell is a sophomore at KIPP DuBois Collegiate Academy High School. His business, Urban Instrumentals, will provide music production for hip-hop and R&B artists. Terry believes that there is a lucrative business opportunity in Philadelphia as the city is “full of young rappers and singers that would appreciate high-quality instrumentals at an affordable cost.” Terry plans to earn a degree from New York University after graduation from high school.
- Jose Feliciano is a senior at George Washington High School. His business, Quick Fix, provides replacement parts and repairs for broken electronic products at competitive prices. Jose plans to enroll at Temple University and major in computer science. After obtaining his college degree, Jose plans to work in computer development.
- Dominique Hughes is a junior at Maritime Academy Charter High School. Her business, Center of Attraction, is a traveling salon for the on-the-go woman who has no time to wait in a salon. Dominique hopes to attend a college in Miami after graduating from high school in June of 2013.
- Raleigh Russell is a sophomore at Boys’ Latin of Philadelphia Charter School. His business, SS & ZB, sells school slaps (“SS”) and zodiac bandz (“ZB”) to high school students. Raleigh is currently selling his products at Boys’ Latin and hopes to expand his business to high school students throughout Philadelphia. Raleigh plans to attend college after graduation from high school.
- Angelique Vidra is a freshman at Charles Carroll High School. Her business, Angelique’s Tutoring, aka "A-TEAM", is a tutoring service for students grades K-6th. Angelique provides low cost, quality tutoring to the younger residents of her neighborhood. After graduation from high school, Angelique plans on going to Penn State then attending Harvard Law and becoming a lawyer. From there, she plans a career in politics.
As part of the business plan competition, Navarrow Wright, CTO at Interactive One will deliver a keynote speech entitled, “The Power of Education with an Entrepreneurial Mindset.” With more than 18 years of experience in the technology and media industry, Wright has established himself as a leader who can conceptualize and develop advanced technology solutions for leading global organizations.
The following local business leaders will be judges at this year’s final business plan competition:
- Eva Dickerson — Senior Operations and Community Manager Mid-Atlantic Region, Microsoft Corporation
- Stephen B. Hauge — Author and Playwright; Co-President, TrueTheatergoer
- Osagie Imasogie — Senior Managing Partner, Phoenix IP Ventures
- James John — Chief Operating Officer, Beyond.com
- Steven M. Katz — Investments and Consultant
- Nathanael V. Lentz — Managing Partner, Osage Venture Partners
- Kerry Lynch, CTP — Executive Vice President and Chief Payments Officer, Fox Chase Bank
- Sharmain Matlock-Turner — President and Chief Executive Officer, Urban Affairs Coalition
- Holly Meng — Senior Specialist, International Businesses, Temple University SBDC; Vice President, Pennsylvania Chinese American Chamber of Commerce
- Richard A. Rasansky — Founder and CEO, Yorn
- Stephen S. Tang, Ph.D., MBA — President and CEO, University City Science Center
“It is fitting to hold our final business plan competition at Quorum,” added McKinney. “Last year, NFTE Philadelphia joined the Quorum Strategic Partner Alliance to offer our students access to a robust network of entrepreneurs and business leaders. That vision is being realized. We thank the Science Center for hosting our event and Dr. Tang for being a judge.”
“We believe this is a tremendous opportunity for the next generation of entrepreneurs and future business leaders of our region,” said Science Center President and CEO Stephen S. Tang, Ph.D., MBA. “We are pleased to participate in and serve as host to the final round of the 2012 NFTE Philadelphia Regional Business Plan Competition.”
About The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE)
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 education 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. To learn how you can help students realize their potential, visit www.nfte.com.
About NFTE Philadelphia
The NFTE Philadelphia chapter was established in 2007 through initial donor support and seed funding from Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. (NYSE: SFE) and ICG (Nasdaq: ICGE). Specifically in the Greater Philadelphia area, NFTE has reached more than 2,400 students from more than 20 different schools and recruited over 150 business leaders from the Greater Philadelphia area as guest speakers, coaches and judges. For more information about NFTE Philadelphia, please visit www.nfte.com/philadelphia, Follow Us on Twitter (www.twitter.com/NFTEphilly), or Like Us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/NFTEPhiladelphia).
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