New Jersey Student Wins NFTE Mid-Atlantic Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge

Students win $3,500 in Shark Tank-style pitch competition and advance to national finals

Philadelphia, PA, USA, June 21, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Global entrepreneurship education nonprofit Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) has named five local student businesses as the winners of its annual Mid-Atlantic Regional Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge. The young entrepreneurs distinguished themselves through innovative business ideas, which they will present at the national finals in New York on Oct. 10 to compete for the National Champion title and cash prizes.

Competitors pitched their original business concepts to a panel of esteemed judges, including Eli Lesser, Senior Executive Director, Wharton Global Youth Program at the Wharton School; Syed Masihuddin, Vice President, District Executive at Santander Bank; Aaron Pitt, Jr., NFTE alumnus and nursing student at Drexel University; Carol Steinberg, Master Chair of Vistage Worldwide, Inc.; and Dane Yoder, Assurance Senior Manager at Ernst & Young LLP (EY US). They 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 $250.

  • 1st Place: Rosalie Delgado from the Jewish Renaissance Foundation in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, with her business idea IndependMe, an app that helps kids gain their independence via fun and interactive games.
  • 2nd Place: Angel Rodriguez from Atmosphere Academy in the Bronx, New York, with his business idea Esthetic, which uses AI to match hair care clients and stylists efficiently and effectively.
  • 3rd Place: Roman Ortiz from the Jewish Renaissance Foundation in Perth Amboy with his business idea FAZE, which is an app that uses AI to help users decide what to wear on a daily basis.
  • Runner up: Elizabeth Manuchian from the Academy of Finance and Enterprise in Queens, New York. with her business idea Aqua Cuffs, which provides an effective and environmentally friendly shark repellent solution.
  • Runner up: Karla Perez from the Jewish Renaissance Foundation in Perth Amboy with her business idea RFTS, an organization that helps provide job opportunities and resources to new migrants.

“Each year, we are blown away by the creativity and passion that we see from students who compete in our Mid-Atlantic Regional Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge,” said Rob Piercey, NFTE Mid-Atlantic Regional Director. “Young people from across the region come together to display their entrepreneurial mindsets and share their innovative business ideas. The future certainly looks bright thanks to these amazing students and their commitment to impact the world around them!”

The NFTE Mid-Atlantic Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge was presented by EY US and Santander, with signature support from Data Systems Analysts, Inc. and Shopify and associate support from CBIZ, the Citi Foundation, Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg LLP, and PayPal.

For media inquiries, please contact Angelika Seaman, 603-504-8554, or Denise Berkhalter, APR, 917-281-4362, at


About NFTE

Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) ignites the entrepreneurial mindset with unique learning experiences that empower students to own their futures. A global nonprofit founded in 1987, NFTE provides high-quality entrepreneurship education to middle school, high school and postsecondary students. NFTE brings the power of entrepreneurship to students, regardless of family income, community resources, special needs, gender identity, race, or ethnicity. NFTE has educated more than a million students, delivering our programs in school, out of school, in-person, online, or through hybrid models. Visit to learn more.


NFTE Mid-Atlantic Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge Champion 2024 NFTE Mid-Atlantic Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge Winners