The top five contestants in the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge – a contest sponsored by Oppenheimer Funds and the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship – met with President Barack Obama in Washington this week.
The grand prize winner in the competition – which challenged young entrepreneurs across America to devise their own business plans – was Nia Froome, a 17-year-old from Valley Stream, New York who crafted a plan for a vegan bakery. She plans to donate part of her winnings to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the breast cancer research and awareness group.
The first runners-up were Hartford residents Zermina Velic and Belma Ahmetovic, who had a plan for a computer-services firm.
The second runner-up was Crystal Vo of San Jose, who presented a plan for a cake company, Sweet Tooth Bites.
And the winner of the challenge's elevator pitch competition, which encouraged students to develop a 30-second business proposal, was Steven Gordon of Brooklyn New York. Gordon's company, TattooID, makes temporary tattoos that help keep children from getting lost.
The skills the challenge participants have learned, NFTE CEO Amy Rosen said, "are critical to success in the 21st-century global economy."