NEW YORK, Sept. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), an international non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring young people from low-income communities to stay in school and to recognize business opportunities, today announced its World Series of Innovation, presented by Microsoft, was selected as a featured event for the 2011 Global Entrepreneurship Week from Nov. 14-20.
The World Series of Innovation extends NFTE's message of the power of entrepreneurship education and the importance of innovation to young people nationwide by challenging teams of students to devise innovative products and services targeted at specific market opportunities and show how they would sell and market to the public.
"The World Series of Innovation will bring NFTE's pioneering experiential education program and vital message about the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship in our society to thousands of new young people around the globe," said Amy Rosen, President and CEO of NFTE. "With the economy still mired in problems, now more than ever NFTE feels an obligation to inspire as many young people as possible to think creatively about their world and seize opportunities to meet market demands and social needs. We are sowing the seeds of the next generation of entrepreneurs every day."
NFTE is proud to have Microsoft as the presenting sponsor of the World Series of Innovation. Microsoft is issuing a challenge for students to create mobile phone apps and games that raise awareness and provide solutions for common student and school issues. Microsoft will provide the winning teams with a development partner to take the idea and bring it to market.
"Microsoft and NFTE have worked together for a number of years as both our organizations share the goal of encouraging young people to look at the world differently and to think about how they might contribute to make their communities stronger," said Anthony Salcito, Vice President, Worldwide Education, Microsoft Corp. "We are excited to see the mobile app and game ideas students will come up with to improve education. As they gain real world experience in this competition, we hope the students will gain new skills that may help them jump start a career and turn their ideas into reality."
The Coca-Cola Company will sponsor the "Innovative Beverage" category. "Coca-Cola is thrilled to begin our relationship with NFTE through the World Series of Innovation. Our company has a long history of supporting education in creative ways, as well as nurturing entrepreneurship," said Deryck van Rensburg, President and General Manager, Venturing and Emerging Brands (VEB), a division of Coca-Cola North America.
jcpenney will sponsor the "Sustainable Style" category. "When I learned about the World Series of Innovation I knew it was a great opportunity for jcpenney to get involved with NFTE. It supports our philanthropic mission of giving students the chance to participate in educational programs after school that can positively influence how they look at their futures," said Jodi Gibson, Divisional Vice President, J. C. Penney Company, Inc.
Franchise Source Brands International will sponsor the "New Franchise Idea" category. "Franchising is a tremendous way to extend the impact of a great local business to new communities, and young people have their fingers on the pulse of their communities," says Terry Powell, Founder and CEO, The Entrepreneur's Source and Franchise Source Brands International. "It will be great to see what ideas come forward."
NFTE is issuing a sixth challenge category in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Education entitled "College and Career Readiness". This category encourages students to imagine new business ideas, both for-profit and non-profit, designed to help students stay and succeed in school, make informed choices about college and career options, and enter postsecondary education programs ready for college-level work.
From November 7-18, the general public will be asked to vote online for their favorites in each category to determine the winning entries. The pitch video and submission forms for the finalists will be available online for voters to make their decisions. Winners will be announced immediately following Global Entrepreneurship Week on Nov. 21. The winning students will receive prize packages from this year's sponsors and their sponsoring classrooms, schools or youth groups will receive grants of $2500 from the sponsors and NFTE.
For more information, visit http://www.nfte.com/innovation.
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.
SOURCE Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE)