Join NFTE on May 22nd for the 2017 Young Entrepreneur Showcase!

join nfte for our 2017 young entrepreneur showcase!

NFTE’s Exploring Careers program teaches young people in grades 6-9 the fundamentals of entrepreneurship through career exploration and personal discovery. As a guest at the Young Entrepreneur Showcase, we invite you interact with the student teams, listen to their pitches and ask questions about their business ideas. All spectators will be invited to select their favorite student business: the group that earns the most votes will also be awarded prizes!

You can RSVP here.

We look forward to seeing some of our NFTE alums and supporters there!

NFTE and Blueprint + Co: Reflections From A NFTE Student Entrepreneurship Workshop

Throughout his career, Shark Tank’s Daymond John has made it his mission to educate and empower young entrepreneurs to achieve their goals. Last month, John’s team of experts hosted an exclusive Entrepreneur Workshop for NFTE students that taught them essential skills that every successful entrepreneur needs in order to create a strong foundation for their business. During the workshop, topics covered included:

  • Building an Authentic Brand
  • Marketing Your Business
  • Social Media Strategies
  • Playing to Your Strengths


When asked about entrepreneurship education, John mentioned, “I know as an entrepreneur that I’ve learned a ton! Whether it’s building a billion dollar brand or working with one of the entrepreneurs I just invested in, I have a lot of lessons to share with entrepreneurs to help grow their business”.

We asked two NFTE students that participated in the workshop to share their takeaways from the workshop.


NFTE Student Entrepreneur Takeaways:

Carlos Feitosa, Founder of Shine Soaps: The March 11th workshop with Blueprint + Co was a great opportunity.  We learned that to build a successful brand, entrepreneurs must show determination, build a loyal customer base, and of course, have a great 30 second pitch. In addition, having a strong support system in place helps entrepreneurs stay the course when times get tough.

Marc Hinds, Founder of VR Spark:  I was also able to absorb a great amount of information on how to do effective social media promotions by using the “Power of Broke” strategy from Daymond John’s book. The “Power of Broke” strategy consists of using little to no money when starting a business and taking advantage of the opportunities that surround you. I learned that you need to get an army of people to advertise your brand. This strategy was proven with evidence, like the “Chewbacca Mom” viral video clip, for example. While I learned a lot throughout the workshop,  the most important lesson was that it is all about who knows you, and not who you know.

To see more of Daymond John’s work, follow him on Instagram at @thesharkdaymond, Twitter at @thesharkdaymond, and Snapchat @TheSharkDaymond.

NFTE and our student entrepreneurs thank Daymond and his team for a great afternoon learning more about entrepreneurship at Blueprint + Co.

Unit 3: Financial Information & Operations Professional Development is Monday, February 6th!

On February 6th we are hosting our Unit 3: Financial Information & Operations professional development for NFTE Owning Your Future teachers. The PD session will run from 8:30am-3pm at NFTE Headquarters (120 Wall Street, 18th Floor).

The Financials section of the business plan and presentation are typically the most challenging for students. With that in mind, we have 4 sessions planned to help set up teachers to effectively teach this unit of learning, as well as a veteran NFTE teacher guest speaker who will share his insights and tips for evaluating students’ plans and providing feedback (even for ~100 students!).

We look forward to seeing many of you Monday!

GenTech Semi-Finals

GenTech Semi-Finals

Original article published by NYCEDC on September 13, 2013. To read the original article, click here

NYC Generation Tech, in partnership with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), held its first Semi-Final Challenge at tech startup Quirky on Tuesday. Nine high school teams presented mobile app prototypes and business plans that focused on improving education and quality of life in NYC to an expert panel of judges. At the end of the night, Quirky’s very own Andre Zdanow, long-time Quirky advisor and director of U.S. sales, presented a keynote on the Quirky model for product development.

Three teams were chosen to advance to NYC GenTech’s Demo Day on September 19:

  • Inspyer UPrepares and educates young students for the New York State Math Test by engaging them with fun, interactive, crime-solving games. Inspyer U strengthens players’ math skills while the players solve crimes around New York City. As the players move through each leveled scenario like a sleuth, they enhance their problem-solving skills since they use their reasoning to crack each case.
  • Mealr: Encourages a healthier lifestyle in young adults through social competition. Users of the app can monitor the foods they eat and water they drink each day with the food group and water trackers. When users hit their daily goals, their friends can challenge them to take a picture and make sure they are being true to their word. Ultimately, the app will keep friends engaged and striving to hit their daily health goals.
  • SproutEd: Education network that creates an environment for students and their peers to collaborate, get organized and discuss school-related topics and events. SproutEd’s message board encourages students to ask questions they might have when trying to complete a homework assignment or study for a test.

You can read more about all of the app teams here. Teams created a variety of helpful apps ranging from promoting high-school artists to making lives easier for high school athletes. Be sure to follow the competition on Twitter (@NYCGenTech and @NYCEDC will be live-tweeting) on Thursday, September 19 as the three teams duke it out for the top prize of $5,000 and a meeting with Union Square Ventures. The event, which will be held at the AppNexus office, is sure to be an exciting one. Our esteemed panel of judges include Michael Donnelly (SVP MasterCard Worldwide), Cameron Evans (CTO of Education at Microsoft), David Gilboa (Founder of Warby Parker), Kara Goldin (Founder & CEO of hint inc.), Jalak Jobanputra (Managing Partner at FuturePerfect Ventures), and Alexis Ohanian (Founder of reddit).

Space is limited, but if you are interested in getting involved with future NYC GenTech events, please email Assistant Director at NYCEDC, Julie Chan at 

We congratulate all nine teams for their impressive presentations and hard work, and wish the three finalists the best of luck. The future looks bright with this next generation of NYC tech-entrepreneurs!

Danitza C, CEO of Twisted Creations

Over the next few weeks leading up to NFTE NY Metro’s Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC) Semi-Finals happening June 4th, we will be profiling every student participating in YEC. Stay Tuned. Today, we are profiling Danitza C, CEO of Twisted Creations.


Twisted Creations custom designs unique crocheted accessories that express the individual. The mission of Twisted Creations is to give people the chance to order their own personalized item that nobody else has and to allow individuals to expresses their own personal style. Danitza has been crocheting for five years and utilizes her skills of crochet to give individuals unique handmade creations. Danitza is currently a senior at Queens Academy High School with plans to further grow her business, Twisted Creations, by majoring in business in college.

Sofia C, CEO of Sofia’s Pupuseria

Over the next few weeks leading up to NFTE NY Metro’s Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC) Semi-Finals happening June 4th, we will be profiling every student participating in YEC. Stay Tuned. Today, we are profiling Sofia C, CEO of Sofia’s Pupuseria.


Sofia Contreras is a senior at Brooklyn International High School. She is passionate about food and cooking. Sofia came from El Salvador where cuisine is a big component of the culture. Early in life, her father taught her how to cook. She embraced cooking as a form of freedom and expression. Sofia aims to share a passion that is close to her heart with her classmates and teachers. The pupusas are homemade and handmade Salvadorian gorditas, made from corn flour, vegetables, and beans. Sofia looks forward to embarking on the discovery of pupusas and exquisite flavors from El Salvador around the table with you.

Building an Entrepreneur’s Credibility

Cindy Morand
by Cindy Morand

Credibility is extremely important to the success of any entrepreneur. Individuals do business with people they trust and believe in. So how can a young entrepreneur gain the respect and credibility from customers and future investors?

1. Become an Expert of the Product or Service You are Selling

It is of extreme importance to obtain training in order to improve the goods and services you offer so that customers begin to trust you and ultimately choose your product. Analyzing trends in the market, learning more about your product, and attending workshops/informational events about your industry are ways in which to accomplish this goal.

2. Have Strong Communication Skills

The ability to communicate with clients is crucial when it comes to building trust and establishing a good rapport. Therefore, a client’s concerns, suggestions, and e-mails should be replied to in a professional and promptly manner. In addition, one can take business writing classes to improve the messages conveyed in proposals, business plans, and when marketing new ideas to clients.

3. Obtain Professional Experience

Being young, in the minds of adults, can be interpreted as having a lack of professional experience. And so, it is strongly suggested that you obtain an internship or position in an organization that allows you to display your leadership abilities and that exposes you to working in a team environment. In addition, an internship is the perfect way to learn first-hand how a business is conducted. Moreover, a leadership position in an organization may allow you to create ideas and to gain experience implementing them.

4. Pursue Higher Education

While a college degree is not required for an entrepreneur, it is strongly recommended that one attends college, as individuals will be more likely to trust you and your training in your chosen field. While in college, an entrepreneur can explore various subjects, careers, paths, and participate in student organizations. Therefore, investors and clients are more likely to trust someone well educated.

5. Innovate

It is always important to show your customers that you are ahead of the trends, innovating, coming up with new ideas, and researching ways to improve your products and services. Most importantly, when you innovate, the passion you possess for your business becomes so evident that people start believing in your mission.

A young entrepreneur can gain the trust and respect from investors and clients as long as their credibility is high and they continue to improve their product or service.

Cindy Morand participated in the NFTE Biz Camp program at New York University. While pursuing her entrepreneurial aspirations, she was published in the book, Red: The Next Generation of American Writers. Her banking career includes work experience and internships with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, CNBC, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and CIT Group. She graduated from the University at Buffalo with honors and is currently the Co-Chair of the NFTE NY Metro Alumni Board.

This Week in Pictures

NFTE NY Metro: This Week in Pictures (March 18, 2013-March 22, 2013)