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Teen Entrepreneurs Mean Business in NFTE Elevator Pitch Challenge, Sponsored by E*TRADE Bank Student entrepreneurs call upon the public to cast their votes online for cash prizes

NEW YORK, Sept. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Savvy teen entrepreneurs from around the country are counting on America's vote to be crowned champion of the 2nd annual Elevator Pitch Challenge, presented by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) with the support of E*TRADE Bank (www.elevatorpitch2011.com). As part of NFTE's 2011 National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge, teen entrepreneurs representing 30 businesses will have up to 60 seconds to sell their ideas to the world in an online video "elevator pitch."  The grand prize includes $2,500, to help get their idea off the ground or advance their education, as well as two round-trip plane tickets donated by Southwest Airlines. Two runners-up will also receive $500 each, and daily and weekly prizes from MasterCard and Southwest Airlines are also available.

Online voting is open now through October 4 at www.elevatorpitch2011.com, where the public is encouraged to view the elevator pitch videos and cast their votes for the best business ideas. Each of the 30 businesses is the brainchild of a high school or middle school student from a low-income community who learned how to start a business in classrooms that incorporate NFTE's unique, experiential entrepreneurship curriculum.

"With a heritage of innovation and empowering individuals to take control of their financial futures, E*TRADE recognizes the importance of motivating young people to think entrepreneurially and to plan for the future," said Celie Niehaus, vice president and chief compliance officer at E*TRADE Bank.  "The Elevator Pitch Challenge is a powerful way for the public to see the results of the NFTE program and learn more about the organization. E*TRADE is proud to support NFTE and we look forward to seeing the ideas from America's future business leaders."

"We're excited to launch this second year of the NFTE Elevator Pitch Challenge as part of our annual National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge," said Amy Rosen, president and CEO of NFTE. "Our mission at NFTE is to inspire young people to stay in school, to recognize business opportunities and to plan for successful futures. Not only does the elevator pitch competition offer these talented teens financial incentive, it's a fun and creative way for them to gain very valuable business skills."

Voters can cast up to one vote per day for their favorite elevator pitch videos until the end of the contest. The elevator pitch competition winner will be announced at the 2011 NFTE National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge, presented by MasterCard Worldwide in association with Kathryn W. Davis, on October 6 in New York City.  NFTE is thrilled to have Matthew J. Audette, chief financial officer of E*TRADE Financial Corp., as one of its final-round judges for the challenge.

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 9 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. For more information, visit www.nfte.com.

SOURCE Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship



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