NFTE Philadelphia Announces Judges for Semi-Final Regional Business Plan Competition on May 25th

Mon May 23, 2011 10:00am EDT

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NFTE Philadelphia Announces Judges for Semi-Final Regional Business Plan Competition on May 25th

Leading visionaries, entrepreneurs and business professionals from regional technology, pharmaceutical, accounting, retail and consulting organizations to judge business plans;

Winners will advance to final round of competition on June 7th to compete for more than $4,000 worth of prizes

High school students from twelve area public and charter schools will compete this week in the semi-final round of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) Philadelphia Regional Business Plan Competition of the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge, which will be held on Wednesday, May 25th at the Fox School of Business at Temple University, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Judges for the semi-final round include:

  • Bernard Anderson, Retired Professor, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania;
  • Sandra M. Betner, Sandra Betner Public Relations & Marketing;
  • David B. Clark, Independent Contractor;
  • Neosha Dixon, Sam’s Club;
  • Craig Ey, Philadelphia Business Journal;
  • Jun Huangpu, Cobbs Creek Health Care;
  • Gwendolyn Jenkins, Broadview Staffing Services;
  • Carolyn Oakley Lowe, Minority Angel Investment Network;
  • Patrick Oates, Pharmaceutical Consultant;
  • Kent Rife, CBIZ;
  • Meloenese Shaw, Maven;
  • Richard Tarrity, LiquidSpoke;
  • Roberta Torian, ReedSmith;
  • Adrian Verueco, Ernst & Young;
  • Joseph Wells, CSL Behring; and
  • Ed Zenzola, Zenzola Group.

The 28 participating students represent 24 different businesses that placed first, second and third in the in-class business plan competitions which were held last month. All participants are currently enrolled in the NFTE program, which inspires young people from low-income communities to stay in school, to recognize business opportunities and to plan for successful futures.

Five finalists will be selected to advance to the final round, which will be held at Ernst & Young’s Philadelphia offices on June 7, 2011, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. The grand-prize winner will take home $2,500; the second place winner will receive $1,000; and the third-place winner will receive $500 to help launch or expand their business, or further their education. Additionally, the first and second place winners will travel to New York City to compete against other regional winners in the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge on October 6, 2011.

“I’m so proud of the work that our students have accomplished on their business plans this year,” says Sylvia Watts McKinney, executive director of NFTE Philadelphia. “This program truly brings together the brightest entrepreneurial minds in the region. From the leaders in the local business community who have dedicated time and resources to mentoring our students and judging the competition, to the teachers who advise NFTE’s program, I want to thank you for your support and energy. And most importantly, to our students: keep up the great work! We’re all looking forward to seeing the success of your businesses in years to come.”

About The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE)

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 education 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 21 states and 10 other countries through our network of program offices and licensed partners. Entrepreneurs are a powerful driver of economic growth and NFTE sows the seeds of innovation in students worldwide. To learn how you can help students realize their potential, visit

About NFTE Philadelphia

NFTE Philadelphia chapter was established in 2007 through initial donor support and seed funding from Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. (NYSE: SFE) and Internet Capital Group (Nasdaq: ICGE). Specifically in the Greater Philadelphia area, NFTE has reached more than 1,500 students from more than 20 different schools. For more information about NFTE Philadelphia, please visit or follow us on Twitter at and Facebook at

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