Two Southern California students win entrepreneurial competition
High school students from Southern California took first and second place in a national competition in which students had to design and pitch a product of their own.
The National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge, held in New York earlier this month, featured 28 students from around the country, who are among the 15,000 students who take part in the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship programs in schools nationwide. The students, who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, had to create a product that was socially conscious and develop a business plan and elevator pitch to go along with it.
Hayley Hoverter, of Downtown Magnets High School in Los Angeles, took first place with her idea for dissolvable sugar packets to reduce waste called Sweet (dis)SOLVE.
The idea was spurred by the Japanese candies she ate when she was younger that were wrapped in rice paper that would melt in her mouth.
Her prize includes $10,000 to use for her business or education, plus a $5,000 college scholarship and a $5,000 investment from the founder and chief executive of FUBU -- a clothing company. Two of the judges pledged a $5,000 investment.
She was also offered marketing support for her product and an introduction to executives with Whole Foods.
Shomari Patterson, who represented the NFTE program at the Boys and Girls Club of Oxnard and Port Hueneme, won second place with her Shamazzle's Dazzles, a jewelry business that would empower victims of human trafficking through "jewelry compassion kits." Her second prize win included a $5,000 prize. She said the success would help her make a name for herself in the fashion industry.
NTFE is designed to "show the importance and relevance of their core subjects," said Estelle Reyes, executive director for the program in Los Angeles. "It tries to bring academics to life, so they'll stay in school."
-- Rick Rojas
Video: First-place winner Hayley Hoverter makes a presentation at the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge for her product, dissolvable sugar packets. Credit: Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship