NFTE

Key Dates

  • 07

    St. Louis Finals

    • May 2019
    • Regional Finals
  • 16

    Philadelphia Finals

    • May 2019
    • Regional Finals
  • 21

    Chicago Finals

    • May 2019
    • Regional Finals
  • 22

    Los Angeles Finals

    • May 2019
    • Regional Finals
  • 29

    Wash, DC Finals

    • May 2019
    • Regional Finals
  • 30

    Southeast Finals

    • May 2019
    • Regional Finals
  • 04

    Bay Area Finals

    • June 2019
    • Regional Finals
  • 06

    North Texas Finals

    • June 2019
    • Regional Finals
  • 11

    New England Finals

    • June 2019
    • Regional Finals
  • 13

    New York Finals

    • June 2019
    • Regional Finals
  • 18

    Baltimore Finals

    • June 2019
    • Regional Finals

Time to Get Excited

Presenting a winning pitch at any round in the Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge is no small feat. That’s why we’ll recognize the curiosity, drive, and dedication of our top competitors with $75,000 in total prize awards during this year’s Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge.

Prizes

  • $12K + $5K

    cash prizes for the national winner

    • National Winner
  • $4K + $5K

    cash prizes for each of 2 national runners up

    • National Runner Up
  • $15K

    additional prize money thanks to the Smith Family Foundation

    • Sweetener
  • $1.5K

    cash prize for 1st place in a regional final

    • Regional Winner
  • $1K

    cash prize for 2nd place in a regional final

    • Regional Runner Up
  • $500

    cash prize for 3rd place in a regional final

    • Regional Finalist
  • $500

    "icebreaker" awards for each of 10 national qualifiers

    • National Qualifiers
  • $500

    cash prize for each of 9 national semifinalists

    • National Semifinalist

How the Challenge Works

Every NFTE student creates an original business plan during their first year of the program. By presenting their plans in competition, students demonstrate mastery of the entrepreneurial mindset, practice their public-speaking skills, gain professional advice from competition judges, and receive public recognition, including earning capital to invest in their business and/or their education.

Each NFTE region hosts a Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge in the spring, where the three top businesses to emerge from the quarterfinal and semifinal elimination rounds will vie for the top position in their region and the chance to move on to the quarterfinal rounds of the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge in the fall. At regional finals the first place winner receives a prize of $1500, the second place finisher receives $1,000 and the third place finisher receives $500. The first and second place winners will advance to the next tier of the Challenge, representing their region in national competition. At the national finals the first place finisher is named the National Winner and earns two cash prizes: $12,000 and $5,000. The second and third place finishers are named National Runners Up and each earns two cash prizes: $4,000 and $5,000.

How Judging Works

Student presentations must follow a standard format and they are strictly timed. Volunteer timers and tabulators help ensure the rules are followed in each competition round. Judges will review and score the top three finalists’ live presentations using a simple rubric, and will have an opportunity to ask questions and to provide feedback to the young competitors.

NFTE judging panels are composed of a mix of investors and industry experts, including venture capitalists, angel investors, entrepreneurs, and business professionals of all kinds. We seek a good balance of men and women that mirror and model the demographic diversity of our young entrepreneurs. Judges are volunteers from the community who receive training prior to serving on a judging panel.