Five DFW Students Win Regional Entrepreneurship Challenge, Will Compete Nationally in NYC

The local winners were led by Lodias Martinet from the Grand Prairie School for the Highly Gifted, who won first place for Style Selector, an app that generates outfits for those who don’t know what to wear.

Five local student businesses have been named by the global entrepreneurship education nonprofit Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship as the winners of its annual South Regional Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge.

New York-based NFTE said the young entrepreneurs distinguished themselves on May 10 through innovative business ideas that they will present at the national finals October 10 in New York City. That’s where the National Champion title and cash prizes will be up for grabs.

“The level of competition represented by all of our NFTE South students is beyond all expectations,” Trish McKeel, NFTE south regional director, said in a statement. “These young entrepreneurs are not only forward-thinking with their business ideas, but also grounded in the reality of giving back to their local community. They are truly amazing, and NFTE South is so very proud of them, their teachers, and families.”

Lodias Martinet of Grand Prairie School for the Highly Gifted took first place in the May 10 South Regional Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge with his business idea Style Selector. He’ll present at the national finals in New York on Oct. 10. [Photo: Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship]

Competitors pitched their original business concepts to a panel of judges including Alberto Arroyo, NFTE alumnus and entrepreneur; Lincoln Cohoon, senior manager at Ernst & Young LLP (EY US); Shawn Cross, small business community banking & lending production manager at Bank of America; John Steinmetz, president & CEO of Vista Bank and vice-chairman of Vista Bancshares; and Pushkala Venkataraman, product area lead at Fidelity Brokerage Technology.

The judges selected a first-place winner to receive $1,500, a second-place winner to receive $1,000, a third-place winner to receive $500, and two runners up to each receive $100.

More on the winning students and NFTE

Here are the winning students:

  • 1st Place: Lodias Martinet from Grand Prairie School for the Highly Gifted in Grand Prairie, Texas, with his business idea Style Selector, an app that generates outfits for those who don’t know what to wear.
  • 2nd Place: Angel Alvarez from Price Career Institute South in Dallas with his business idea UniDesign, an affordable yet premium quality branding and design business.
  • 3rd Place: Abril Cardona from Nimitz High School in Irving, Texas, with her business idea Detect-A-Ray, a security system to detect, secure, and protect school environments from gun violence.
  • Runner up: Peyton Bernstein from Hillcrest High School in Dallas with his business idea Peyton’s Pastries, which offers a variety of baked goods including cookies, cakes, and cupcakes.
  • Runner up: Brihana Herrera and Danamari Martinez Reyes from Career Institute North in Dallas with their business idea Bra Physics, a business for women to feel confident and empowered by finding their ideal bra size.

The NFTE South Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge was presented by EY US, with associate support from the Citi Foundation, PayPal, Santander, and Shopify.

A global nonprofit founded in 1987, NFTE provides high-quality entrepreneurship education to middle school, high school, and postsecondary students. It brings the power of entrepreneurship to students, regardless of family income, community resources, special needs, gender identity, race, or ethnicity.

NFTE said it has educated more than a million students, delivering its programs in school, out-of-school, in-person, online, or through hybrid models.

Get on the list.
Dallas Innovates, every day.

Sign up to keep your eye on what’s new and next in Dallas-Fort Worth, every day.

One quick signup, and you’re done.  

R E A D   N E X T