Terriq Davidson and Mohit Khurana, Founders of Pop Casa

Over the next few weeks leading up to NFTE NY Metro’s Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC) Semi-Finals happening June 5th, we will be profiling every student participating in the YEC. Stay Tuned. Today, we are profiling Terriq Davidson and Mohit Khurana, the Founders of Pop Casa

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Pop Casa aims to provide customers innovative and mouthwatering popcorn that they must come back for more. Terriq Davidson is a 17 year old senior at August Martin high school. Terriq aspires to become an app developer and a future entrepreneur. This is Terriq’s second year doing Mr. Summer’s business class and it made him very knowledgeable. With the mistakes and mastery learned guiding Pop Casa he will apply it his future life. Mohit Khurana is a 17 year old inquisitive senior at August Martin high school. He is the VP of Marketing and Operations. Mohit is a Photoshop addict and has advanced knowledge of many graphic design software applications. He sees great potential working with PopCasa, and he believed that there is much to learn. He intends to give Pop Casa his full might and see it through. He is an avid and hard-working individual that is willing to give to all to Pop Casa.

Tristan Daley, CEO of The Drummer in You

Over the next few weeks leading up to NFTE NY Metro’s Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC) Semi-Finals happening June 5th, we will be profiling every student participating in the YEC. Stay Tuned. Today, we are profiling Tristan Daley, CEO of The Drummer in You.

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Tristan Daley is the CEO and founder of The Drummer in You. His business aims to provide reasonably-priced drumming lessons in the northeast Bronx. Tristan’s service is offered to beginner and advanced drummers and gives customers a chance to learn and play drums. His ultimate goal is to find talent and bring out the drummer in you! As a long-time drummer and performer, Tristan is qualified to run his business and teach others how to play drums.  Tristan plan’s to continue drumming in the future and teach drumming lessons to all interested customers! Tristan is a current student at the Academy for Scholarship and Entrepreneurship in the Bronx.

Adeleny Minaya, CEO of A Night to Remember

Over the next few weeks leading up to NFTE NY Metro’s Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC) Semi-Finals happening June 5th, we will be profiling every student participating in the YEC. Stay Tuned. Today, we are profiling Adeleny Minaya, the CEO and Founder of A Night to Remember.

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Adeleny Minaya is the CEO and Founder of A Night To Remember, an event planning business helping customers create fun, well-organized and unforgettable events for those special occasions. Adeleny is a young, motivated and creative thinker, passionate about event planning and creating magical events for those in need. Adeleny has extensive experience planning parties such as birthday parties for family members and friends and seeks to put her passion for planning and parties into a successful business venture for years to come.

Hetta W., CEO of Hijab Trends

Over the next few weeks leading up to NFTE NY Metro’s Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC) Semi-Finals happening June 5th, we will be profiling every student participating in the YEC. Stay Tuned. Today, we are profiling Hetta W., CEO of Hijab Trends.

Hetta W.

Hetta W. is the CEO and founder of Hijab Trends. Hijab Trends inspires young, Muslin females to begin their transformation into wearing the Hijab (traditional headscarf). With a mission to produce personalized, trendy Hijab’s at an affordable price, Hijab Trends is here to inspire young women to embrace culture, fashion, and independence. Hetta is currently a junior at the Business of Sports School (BOSS) with plans to expand her business and soon launch a website to grow Hijab Trends!

Anne D. and Queen C., CO-CEOs of Clyde and Cev’s Bakery

Over the next few weeks leading up to NFTE NY Metro’s Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC) Semi-Finals happening June 5th, we will be profiling every student participating in the YEC. Stay Tuned. Today, we are profiling Anne D. and Queen C., CO-CEOs of Clyde and Cev’s Bakery.

Anne D. and Queen Clyde, CO-CEOs of Clyde and Cev's Bakery

Clyde and Cev’s is an organic bakery that brings the yummy taste back into healthy eating. As co-founders of this company, Queen and Anne have been able to combine their love for culinary arts and bringing social awareness of healthy eating to communities in Brooklyn through their bakery. They offer organic, gluten-free, and organic products as well as spreading the word on the horrid realities of agribusiness. Anne and Queen are both seniors at Brooklyn High School of the Arts with plans on majoring in culinary arts and business in the fall.

Roberto M., CEO of Metro Model Trains

Over the next few weeks leading up to NFTE NY Metro’s Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC) Semi-Finals happening June 5th, we will be profiling every student participating in the YEC. Stay Tuned. Today, we are profiling Roberto M., CEO of Metro Model Trains.

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Metro Model Trains aims to provide model trains that have never been seen before in the current market. An industry worth over $1Bn and fueled by millions of model train enthusiasts worldwide, the model train market lacks reproductions of the most familiar railway cars around the world. Roberto M., CEO and founder of Metro Model Trains, will create model trains to help collectors add these enduring pieces to their collections. New York City. London. Boston. Tokyo. The trains of these global cities will finally be available to model train enthusiasts everywhere at an affordable price. Roberto is a freshman at Chelsea Career and Technical Education High School with plans to pursue a degree in mechanical and computer engineering. His passion for model trains will drive Metro Model Trains towards achieving the highest standard and he looks forward to creating one of the most respected brands in the model train industry.

Jovan F., CEO of Soul’s Sports Supplement

Over the next few weeks leading up to NFTE NY Metro’s Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC) Semi-Finals happening June 5th, we will be profiling every student participating in the YEC. Stay Tuned. Today, we are profiling Jovan F., CEO of Soul’s Sports Supplement.

Jovan is an 11th grader at the Business of Sports School with an interest in sports, event planning, and fundraising. Soul’s Sports Supplement is a youth fundraising service that assists youth sports teams and players that don’t have enough money to pay for permits and equipment. In summary, if a school can’t start a fundraiser to raise money to start a new sports club, Soul’s Sports is here to help them to do this. As a growing event planner and mathematician, Jovan ‘Soul’ has the skill and knowledge to help with these fundraising needs. While Jovan knows that raising money is a skill and challenge, he is motivated by the cause and equipped to start this business!

2014 Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC) Application

NFTE NY Metro’s 2014 Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge

NFTE is an innovative youth development program that positively changes the attitudes and knowledge of young people and gives them a different vision for their own futures and the futures of their communities. Through its award-winning entrepreneurship curricula and programming, NFTE provides young people with opportunities to develop and apply 21st Century workforce skills toward productive and profitable goals. NFTE is a pivotal experience for students, giving them indispensable tools to invest in their own future and to take personal ownership of their educational, financial and personal success.

During the 2013-2014 school year, NFTE New York Metro (NFTE-NYM) will serve over 2,200 students at over 30 different middle schools and high schools throughout Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens. During their NFTE course, students will author business plans based on an original idea of their choosing and pitch their completed plans in competitions at the classroom, school-wide, and city-wide levels.

This year’s city-wide competition, the Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC), will feature the top 40 student-generated business plans from all of NFTE-NYM’s classrooms. YEC competitors receive mentorship from established business professionals and compete for prize money and the opportunity to advance to NFTE’s National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge.

Application

Application Deadline5 PM EST, Friday, April 11, 2014

Eligibility: any high school student in NYC taking a NFTE entrepreneurship course in the school year 2013-2014.

Before applying, all prospective applicants must download and review the 2014 Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge Information Packet. Please read through the information carefully and prepare all materials in advance.

*****You can apply to the YEC online by clicking here!*****

You can also submit a copy of your YEC application by email (melissa.metz@nfte.com) or fax (212-232-2244).

Startup Summer

As a YEC applicant, you are given priority to be part of our Startup Summer (SUS) program, which is our intensive eight-week summer program that supports NFTE graduates who are seeking to launch their businesses. To apply to Startup Summer, please visit http://startupsummernyc.com/apply.

Startup Summer is one of the premier youth entrepreneurship program in the country. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible! The SUS application only requires a few essays and two recommendations beyond the YEC application.

-The NFTE NY Metro Family

Check out below pictures from last year’s Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge!

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Application for Startup Summer 2014 Now Available!

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Startup Summer Info Session – Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Early Application Deadline – 5 PM EST, Friday, April 11, 2014
Final Application Deadline – 5 PM EST, Friday, May 16, 2014

What is Startup Summer?

The NFTE Startup Summer program is an intensive eight-week summer program that supports NFTE graduates who are seeking to launch a venture based on their NFTE business plan or who are already operating a business.  In this program, you will learn advanced concepts in business and entrepreneurship while taking the steps necessary to launch and grow your venture!

Startup Summer is  one of the premier youth entrepreneurship programs in the country.

To learn more and to apply, visit www.startupsummernyc.com/apply.

When It Pays to Change: How Two High School Kids Earned Seed Funding for Learning How to Refine Their Business

When It Pays to Change: How Two High School Kids Earned Seed Funding for Learning How to Refine Their Business

The high school students turned young entrepreneurs in Startup Summer, NFTE New York Metro’s ground-breaking small business incubator (see my article here), are used to pitching their business ideas to anyone and everyone they meet. However, the stakes for last week’s Launched Night were raised for three businesses. While most high school students worry about prepping for finals in December, the student entrepreneurs behind these businesses were prepping to ask for thousands of dollars of additional seed capital to grow their ventures.

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Last week’s event

The highlight of my night was the presentation from Tallawah, a food services company that manufactures and distributes Jamaican inspired sauces, http://tallawahcatering.com/. Tallawah is patois for “strong.” What is unique about this particular business is the story of how Tallawah’s two founders, Zurri and Phylicea, both of whom are still in high school, have demonstrated an acute ability to quickly adapt to the market.

Tallawah started as an in-school project when Zurri and Phylicea took a NFTE class and started selling chicken wings at lunch as an alternative to the standard school lunch. After selling out every day, they realized that they were on to something. However, once they joined Startup Summer, they realized that, for their business to grow, they would have to find a different model. They transformed Tallawah into a catering company, but logistical challenges inherent to the industry made them realize that this wasn’t the model they were looking for either. From there, they entertained the idea of turning their business into a food truck, but that was quickly discarded as neither co-founder has their driver’s license.

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Their eureka moment came during Startup Summer’s Advisory Panel presentations in late-August when the panel pointed out that the special sauce to their business was, in fact, their sauce! With this revelation, Phylicia and Zurri quickly abandoned the food truck idea and focused their efforts on bottling and selling their original sauces.

After clearly describing the market opportunity and explaining their plans to manufacture and sell their sauces, the Launched Night investment panel chose to award Tallawah with $3,500 in additional seed funding!

The evolution of Tallawah mirrors many famous entrepreneurial stories. One of my favorite examples is 3M, the multi-national conglomerate that started in 1902 as a mining company. When 3M realized they could not make money mining, they reoriented their focus to bring us two very successful products: scotch tape and the post-it.

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The founders with mentor Sean Leventhal

In the real-world, not all businesses have the resources or the time to experiment with what they bring to market and fail. Fortunately for Tallawah’s innovators, NFTE provides them with a safe space for trial and error to transform their business not once but twice from catering to food truck to sauce.

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Thomas Edison famously said that he didn’t fail to invent the lightbulb 1,000 times; instead, he simply found 1,000 ways not to make a lightbulb. That freedom to fail is essential to innovation and entrepreneurship. And that’s not wrong. It’s everything that’s right about being young and being an entrepreneur. Providing that freedom to work it out and figure it out is a core NFTE asset.

Like all ventures, not all of the business ships launched last week will prove seaworthy. And others will be abandoned. But all of them are worth the investment, and I am glad to be a part of an organization like NFTE that fosters these partnerships. With skilled mentors, entrepreneurial education by NFTE, and the motivation and encouragement provided by teachers, parents and peers, Tallawah’s amazing sauces are now several steps closer to being on store shelves and part of amazing family meals.

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The Tallawah team at the Black Culinary Alliance’s 20th Anniversary Cultural Awareness Salute