Students Compete Worldwide for Grants and Prizes in the NFTE World Series of Innovation
Nov 10, 2011
General Public to Cast Their Vote for Winners Online
NEW YORK – Nov. 7, 2011 – The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), an international non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring young people from low-income communities to stay in school and to recognize business opportunities, today launched public voting for the organization’s 2011 World Series of Innovation, presented by Microsoft. The competition extends NFTE’s message of the power of entrepreneurship education and the importance of innovation by challenging teams of students worldwide to devise innovative products and services that address everyday opportunities in six categories. Categories include “Mobile Game Design,” “Mobile App Design,” “Innovative Beverage,” “New Franchise Idea,” “Sustainable Style” and “College and Career Readiness.” From Nov. 7 – 18, the public can view team pitch videos and submission forms and vote online for a winner among the top three finalists in each category at www.nfte.com/innovation.
“The World Series of Innovation brings NFTE’s pioneering experiential education program and vital message about the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship in our society to thousands of new young people around the globe” said Amy Rosen, President and CEO of NFTE. “With the economy still mired in problems, now more than ever, NFTE feels an obligation to inspire as many young people as possible to think creatively about their world and seize opportunities to meet market demands and social needs. We hope that the public will be as excited about these incredible final contenders as we are, and we encourage everyone to support these innovative ideas by voting for their favorite team.”
The competition, recently selected as a featured event for the 2011 Global Entrepreneurship Week (Nov. 14-20), features groups of five or more students competing in up to six innovation challenges by creating a new, unique or innovative product or service to address that market niche. Teams will showcase how their product or service will impact people’s daily lives and how they will market their innovations. Submissions consist of a description of their entry, a marketing pitch for the product or service, a customer profile and a 30-second commercial.
NFTE is proud to have Microsoft as the presenting sponsor of the World Series of Innovation. Microsoft will sponsor the “Mobile Game” and “Mobile App” design categories, challenging students to create mobile phone apps and games that raise awareness and provide solutions for common student and school issues. Microsoft and NFTE will work to find a development partner to assist the winning teams in bringing their ideas to market.
“Microsoft and NFTE have worked together for a number of years as both our organizations share the goal of encouraging young people to look at the world differently and to think about how they might contribute to make their communities stronger,” said Anthony Salcito, Vice President, Worldwide Education, Microsoft Corp. “We are excited to see the mobile app and game ideas students will come up with to improve education. As they gain real world experience in this competition, we hope the students will also gain new skills that may help them jump start a career and transform their ideas into reality.”
The Coca-Cola Company is sponsoring the “Innovative Beverage” category. “Coca-Cola is thrilled to begin our relationship with NFTE through the World Series of Innovation. Our company has a long history of supporting education in creative ways, as well as nurturing entrepreneurship,” said Deryck van Rensburg, President and General Manager, Venturing and Emerging Brands (VEB), a division of Coca-Cola North America.
jcpenney has sponsored the “Sustainable Style” category. “When I learned about the World Series of Innovation I knew it was a great opportunity for jcpenney to get involved with NFTE. It supports our philanthropic mission of giving students the chance to participate in educational programs after school that can positively influence how they look at their futures,” said Jodi Gibson, Divisional Vice President, J. C. Penney Company, Inc.
Franchise Source Brands International is the sponsor of the “New Franchise Idea” category. “Franchising is a tremendous way to extend the impact of a great local business to new communities, and young people have their fingers on the pulse of their communities,” says Terry Powell, Founder and CEO, The Entrepreneur’s Source and Franchise Source Brands International. “It will be great to see what ideas come forward.”
NFTE issued a sixth challenge category in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Education entitled “College and Career Readiness.” This category encourages students to imagine new business ideas, both for-profit and non-profit, designed to help students stay and succeed in school, make informed choices about college and career options, and enter postsecondary education programs ready for college-level work.
Finalists for the competition include:
Mobile App Design:
Pocket Locker – Ms. Zhang, St. Clement’s School (Toronto, ON)
Neon – Mr. Fremlin, Nysmith School (Herndon, VA)
XPO – Mrs. Moser, New Providence High School (New Providence, NJ)
Mobile Game Design:
Flashback – Mr. Yongpradit, Springbrook High School (Silver Spring, MD)
Millennium – Mr. Murphy, Harvest Park Middle School (Pleasanton, CA)
iWheelDrive – Mr. Yongpradit, Springbrook High School (Silver Spring, MD)
New Franchise Idea:
Eco-Swag – Ms. Brown, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Oxnard (Oxnard, CA)
300 Calories or Less – Ms. Mezadieu, Miami Edison Senior High School (Miami, FL)
Uniform Recycle – Mr. Griffin, Pathways to Technology (Windsor, CT)
Deux en Un – Ms. Sanchez, Fresno High School Marketing Academy (Fresno, CA)
Rose-Ay’s Transformers – Mr. Keller, Academy of Information Technology & Engineering (Stamford, CT)
Store-A-Port – Mr. Sorensen, New Century Academy (Hutchinson, MN)
Atlantis Energy – Ms. Harrington, Innovation Academy Charter School (Tyngsboro, MA)
Flava’ Squirtz – Ms. Fregosa, Lighthouse Community Charter School (Oakland, CA)
Gin Tropic - Mr. Griffin, Pathways to Technology (Windsor, CT)
College and Career Readiness:
EduHarmony – Ms Mudd, Chickahominy Middle School (Mechanicsville, VA)
E-PRIDE - Ms. Mezadieu, Miami Edison Senior High School (Miami, FL)
TeachMe Touchscreen Desktop – Mr. Gouveia, New Bedford High School (New Bedford, MA)
From Nov. 7-18, the general public will be asked to vote online for their favorites in each category to determine the winning entries. Winners will be announced immediately following Global Entrepreneurship Week on Nov. 21.The winning students will receive prize packages from this year’s sponsors, and their sponsoring classrooms, schools or youth groups will receive grants of $2,500 from the sponsors and NFTE.
For more information, visit www.nfte.com/innovation.
About the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship
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 educations 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 18 states and 10 countries around the world. Entrepreneurs are a powerful driver of economic growth and NFTE sows the seeds of innovation in students worldwide. For more information, visit www.nfte.com.
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