San Francisco, CA (May 18, 2023) Global entrepreneurship education nonprofit Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) has named three student businesses as the winners of its annual West 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 October 3 to compete for the National Champion title and cash prizes from a pool of $18,000.

All six competitors will advance to the New York competition. They pitched their original business concepts to a panel of esteemed judges: Chris Boyd, Chief Operating Officer, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati; Donoghue Clarke, San Jose Office Managing Principal, Ernst & Young LLP; Anna Escher, Marketing Consultant and Journalist; Matt Haryana, Director, Excelerate and Chair, Generative AI @TIECon2023, TiE Silicon Valley; and Amy Ly, Sr. Director of New Product Introduction, Zuora, who selected a first-place winner to receive $1,500, a second-place winner to receive $1,000 and a third-place winner to receive $500. The winners are:

  • 1st Place: Saket Pathak of San Jose’s Silver Creek High School with InclusifyIQ, a mobile app that will offer diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) training and consulting to create more inclusive workplaces.
  • 2nd Place: Damian Jimenez of Los Angeles’ Florence Nightingale Middle School with AutoVantage, an idea to recycle scrap metal into steel plates and rope that make catalytic converters almost impossible to steal.
  • 3rd Place: Amy Wu, also of Florence Nightingale Middle School, with Feminetic, a subscription service idea for “buy one, give one free to a good cause” feminine hygiene pads that are free of dangerous chemicals.

“We are so proud of these brilliant young minds and in awe of their commitment to entrepreneurship and making a difference in this world,” said Dr. J.D. LaRock, CEO of NFTE. “Through their creativity and original ideas, our students demonstrate the power of their generation to transform their communities. When young people are given a platform to sharpen their skills and rise to their full potential, our economy and society thrive.”

The NFTE West Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge was presented by Ernst & Young LLP (EY US), with associate support from the Citi Foundation.

For media inquiries regarding NFTE, please contact Vanessa Hsia at 929-551-3813 or [email protected]; or Denise Berkhalter at 917-281-4362 or [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.