Los Angeles', Vincent Quigg, Crowned "Best Young Entrepreneur" and Wins $25,000 Grand Prize at 2012 NFTE National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge, Presented by MasterCard

First-ever Mariotti Venture Award Presented to Sarah Farzam, founder of Bilingual Birdies from New York City as part of NFTE's 25 Year Anniversary Kick Off

Oct 15, 2012, 09:00 ET from Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship

NEW YORK, Oct. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Vincent Quigg, from Los Angeles, emerged from a field of 34 teen competitors to win the 2012 NFTE National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge, presented by MasterCard in association with Kathryn W. Davis.  The competition took place on October 11th in New York City with a ceremony following a day-long series of competitive presentations. 

Quigg, an 18-year-old student at Rio Hondo College in Whittier, CA, took home the $25,000 grand prize for his business, TechWorld. The prize package included a $2,500 technology suite, $2,500 of business travel, and a $5,000 Coleman Entrepreneurial Scholarship, sponsored by GlobalHue.

The Los Angeles native turned his passion for technology into his own startup company, TechWorld. Teen entrepreneur, Quigg, specializes in repairing and customizing iPhones and plans to expand into iPads and all types of electronic devices. The main differentiator from his competitors within the market space is that he can fix an iPhone for $80 in under 45 minutes. The most common fix? Broken screens. The most common customization? Color swaps (front LCD screen, back glass and home button). In case you're wondering, red is the most requested.

"I'm so grateful to NFTE and the journey it's taken me on from working at Best Buy to launching my own business," said Vincent Quigg.  "From start to finish, the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge has taught me that if you want something bad enough, opportunities will arise."

After the all-day competition, runners-up honors went to Joziah and Jesse Council of Midland, PA, for their herbal muscle and joint relief cream company, J&J's Soothing Cream, and Edwin Romo of Painseville, OH, for his cruelty-free wallet business, Onyx  Wallet LLC. Both runners-up won $5,000 and two round-trip tickets on Southwest Airlines.

The winner of the third-annual NFTE Elevator Pitch Challenge, presented by E*TRADE Bank, was Cale Morrow of  Dodge City, KS, who took home $2,500 in cash and two round-trip plane tickets donated by Southwest Airlines for his business, Believable Inc, a public speaking training company.

The finalists, who are all business plan competition winners from their respective regions, were required to develop and present original business plans as part of their entrepreneurial studies at school, based on NFTE's experiential curriculum. NFTE students learn the real-world relevance of math, reading and writing to their businesses. NFTE studies reinforce students' critical thinking skills and provide them with tools to help them develop an entrepreneurial mindset.

Additionally in honor of NFTE's 25th Anniversary, the event hosted the inaugural Steve Mariotti Venture Award, in which NFTE graduates with fully operating businesses competed for an additional $25,000 in venture capital. The winner of this new challenge, Sarah Farzam, founder of Bilingual Birdies, a foreign language and live music program for children under five years old based in New York City, was selected by a panel of judges in combination with a live action vote by the 400 – seat audience.

"Even after 25 years, I am continual amazed by the dedication, passion and creativity of these budding entrepreneurs," said Steve Mariotti, founder of NFTE. "With youth unemployment sky-rocketing, it's a privilege to be a part of the solution and to be able to provide the tools and the means like the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge offers, to not only help our students recognize business opportunities but to ultimately create sustainable living."

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.

About MasterCard
MasterCard (NYSE: MA) is a global payments and technology company.  It operates the world's fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard's products and solutions make everyday commerce activities—such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances  - - easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Learn more at mastercard.com or follow us on Twitter @mastercardnews.

SOURCE Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship