Young Entrepreneurs Win Prizes Worth $10,000 in NFTE Founders Forum Competition

NEW YORK, NY (February 29, 2024) — Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), a global education nonprofit that ignites the entrepreneurial mindset in the next generation of diverse leaders, announces the winners of this year’s Founders Forum Pitch Competition, presented by the Citi Foundation, Ernst & Young LLP (EY US), PayPal, and SAP, with additional support from Intuit.

Founders of three viable businesses presented their best pitches on Feb. 28, contending for a portion of a $10,000 capital investment pool. Finalist Zachary Borja, founder of Borja+ Media, beat the competition to win $5,000 toward his business Borja+ Media, a digital marketing company dedicated to creating content for organizations with an impact-driven cause. Jonathan Ho won $3,000 for his business Edily Learning and Akin Shoyoye won $2,000 for his business Faderade.

“Congratulations to this year’s 10 Founders Forum participants,” said NFTE president & CEO Dr. J.D. LaRock. “Now in its fourth year, the Founders Forum program provides NFTE alumni entrepreneurs with operational or launch-ready businesses deeper knowledge about raising capital, investment readiness, product sourcing, marketing, and team building. We are proud to support NFTE learners beyond their initial classroom experience with valuable networks and resources that are directly applicable to their business growth.”

Since November 2023, this cohort has participated in invaluable workshops, received coaching from knowledgeable business advisors, and fine-tuned their business plans and pitches in preparation for the culminating showcase and pitch competition.

Judges for this year’s showcase included Kenya Bryant, Vice President, Program Officer at the Citi Foundation; Cody Chang, Co-Founder & Head of Business at Product Gym, Head of Product at Quadency, Director at Valley Foundation Regenerative Agriculture, and NFTE alumnus; Kenrick Fraser, Global Lead of Employee Community Impact & Partnerships at PayPal; Anna Horndahl, Partner at EY US; and Mary Lange, Global Vice President, SAP Academy for Customer Success at SAP.

“The tenacity, creativity, and curiosity exhibited by these Founders is profoundly humbling and inspiring to us all,” shared Kate Sando, EY Americas Impact Entrepreneurship Leader. “EY US is proud to support and contribute to the growth and development of entrepreneurs as they expand their business ventures.”

“It is amazing to witness the talent and originality the founders are bringing to the table this year, as well as the problems they are seeking to solve,” said Katie Booth, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, SAP North America & Latin America. “NFTE plays a remarkable role in empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs and talent. That was clearly on display during this year’s pitch competition, and the reason SAP is proud to support them and the work that they do.”

Read the event program or watch a replay of the culminating pitch competition here.

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

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.