Steve Mariotti
Founder, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship

Steve Mariotti changed career paths in 1982 when he decided to leave the corporate sector and become a special education teacher in the New York City public school system. His first assignment was in the East New York section of Brooklyn and his last was in the Fort Apache section of the Bronx.

While teaching in this harsh environment for six and one half years, Steve gained insight into how to successfully motivate his toughest students—teaching them how to run a business. His perceptions and learnings inspired him to create a program to bring entrepreneurial education to low-income youth. In 1987 he founded what would become the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Considered an expert in education for at-risk youth, Steve was a 2012 inductee into the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame. He has received numerous awards, including an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the Bernard A. Goldhirsh Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the New York Enterprise Report’s 2012 Founders Award for Social Entrepreneurship, the National Director’s Entrepreneurship Award from the Minority Business Development Agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Association of Education Publishers’ Golden Lamp Award for the best curriculum in America in 2002 and 2010’s best curriculum in math for the 11th edition of NFTE’s Entrepreneurship: Owning Your Future, the ACE/Currie Foundation Humanitarian Venture Award, the USASBE Entrepreneurship Educator of the Year, the CEO Club’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year, and America’s Top High School Business Teacher.

He has been the subject of many national media profiles on programs including ABC Evening News and 20/20. In addition, he is the co-author of 29 books on entrepreneurship that have sold over one million copies. Steve has participated in The World Economic Forum and been a frequent speaker at Davos as well as other business forums.
A native son of Michigan, Steve received his BBA in business economics and his MBA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has also studied at Harvard University, Stanford University, and Brooklyn College. He started his professional career as a treasury analyst for Ford Motor Company before founding his own company, Mason Import/Export Services.