A jacket lined with solar panels, allowing you to charge your phone on the go.
That was the winning business plan developed by two high school seniors from World Communications Charter School, at the annual Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship‘s youth business competition.
As part of the SAP Tech Challenge Award, Aliyah Stephens and Jameel Kemp won $2,000, among other prizes, and a spot at the national NFTE finals in California this fall. Next year, they’re both heading to La Salle University on full scholarships.
NFTE Philadelphia, the local arm of a national organization that teaches entrepreneurship to high schoolers, was originally launched in 2006 with more than $1 million (raised by former Safeguard Scientifics CEO Peter Boni and Internet Capital Group president Doug Alexander).
Thirteen schools in Philadelphia, Lansdale and Newark, Del., taught the classroom-based program this year, said executive director Sylvia Watts McKinney. NFTE trains teachers to help them teach the course either on its own or as part of a class like business or math. The NFTE course teaches math, literacy, financial literacy and business concepts. Each participating school pays a small fee to NFTE and the organization fundraises to cover the rest of their costs, McKinney said.
Safeguard Scientifics and ICG chair the organization’s advisory board, McKinney said, and other major sponsors include EY, SAP, Bank of America, Fox Chase Bank, Shepard Family Fund, The OLB Foundation, Campus Apartments and The Rubin Foundation.
The other winners from the local finals, held last month at First Round Capital‘s University City headquarters, include:
- 1st Place (Brick and Mortar Category): Jhaney Hamlett, a sophomore at Newark High School in Newark, Del., won with her business, Heated Hoodies, which sells a heated sweatshirt for teens that don’t want to wear bulky coats in the winter.
- 2nd Place: Damien Dayton, a junior at Lincoln High School in Northeast Philadelphia, developed TRICKDEZ Skateboards, which makes skateboards that have a layer of bamboo between the traditional hardwood layers, which create flex and extend the life of the board by 30 percent.
- 3rd Place: Ricardo Burton, a sophomore at Franklin Learning Center in Fairmount, won with his health conscious cookie business, Ricardo’s Cookies. The cookies are made with sugar substitutes and healthy alternatives to other ingredients.