“I only took the class because I thought that it would be easy. I had no idea of the impact that it would have on me.

—Dylan Martin
  • When Dylan enrolled in a NFTE class at his high school, he thought it would be “just another course” and had no idea it would change his entire way of thinking.
  • Pressed to come up with a business idea for his class project, he remembered a backyard beehive his father had bought thinking it might be a good hobby.
  • Dylan’s beekeeping business was an unexpected success.
  • He won his classroom pitch competition then went on to win a regional business plan competition.
  • He qualified to compete at the national level, taking home an even larger cash prize as a runner up at NFTE’s National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge later that year.
  • Bolstered by his competition success, he continued to grow his business while at college, becoming the third largest beekeeper in the state of Connecticut.

You may have heard that bees, as a species, are endangered and this endangers our planet as a whole. That’s what Dylan learned one night while watching the Discovery Channel. Concerned and motivated, he and his father decided to take action.

Dylan’s father bought a beehive and some bees, like a number of people around the country. This family hobby may have remained just that, but Dylan’s story goes a little differently. Why? Dylan took a NFTE course and began to think like an entrepreneur.

“I only took the class because I thought that it would be easy. I had no idea of the impact it would have on me,” he says. As he learned about business and the empowerment that owning your own business brings, he started to think about how he could use entrepreneurship in his own life. And he remembered the beehive sitting in the backyard. Dylan decided to build his NFTE business plan around it.

Not only did Dylan go on to win the pitch competition in his NFTE class, but he won in regional competitions and ultimately was a runner up in NFTE’s National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge. His school, the Academy of Information Technology & Engineering in Stamford, selected Dylan as its Featured Graduate-AITE Class of 2018​.

Dylan’s entrepreneurial thinking didn’t end there. He went all in on his business, The Mill Brook Honey Company, not only producing honey but also developing a variety of honey-based products.

Dylan continued to use the skills he learned as a NFTE student to manage his business on the side while attending college. He eventually became the third largest beekeeper in the state of Connecticut and even took his expertise to the Town of Greenburgh, New York, to advocate on behalf of beekeepers during a public meeting.

In 2023, Dylan and his dad stepped away from the honey production business to instead expand their professional consultation services to a growing client base, maximizing use of their certification as University of Montana Certified Master Beekeepers.