Grand Prairie Student Wins NFTE's South Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge

Students win $3,200 in Shark Tank-style pitch competition and advance to national finals

Dallas, Texas, May 13, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Global entrepreneurship education nonprofit Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) has named five local student businesses as the winners of its annual South Regional Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge. The young entrepreneurs distinguished themselves on May 10 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 Alberto Arroyo, NFTE alumnus and entrepreneur; Lincoln Cohoon, Senior Manager at Ernst & Young LLP (EY US); Shawn Cross, Small Business Community Banking & Lending Production Manager at Bank of America; John Steinmetz, President & CEO of Vista Bank and Vice-Chairman of Vista Bancshares; and Pushkala Venkataraman, Product Area Lead at Fidelity Brokerage Technology. 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 $100. 

  • 1st Place: Lodias Martinet from Grand Prairie School for the Highly Gifted in Grand Prairie, Texas, with his business idea Style Selector, an app that generates outfits for those who don’t know what to wear.
  • 2nd Place: Angel Alvarez from Price Career Institute South in Dallas with his business idea UniDesign, an affordable yet premium quality branding and design business.
  • 3rd Place: Abril Cardona from Nimitz High School in Irving, Texas, with her business idea Detect-A-Ray, a security system to detect, secure, and protect school environments from gun violence.
  • Runner up: Peyton Bernstein from Hillcrest High School in Dallas with his business idea Peyton’s Pastries, which offers a variety of baked goods including cookies, cakes, and cupcakes.
  • Runner up: Brihana Herrera and Danamari Martinez Reyes from Career Institute North in Dallas with their business idea Bra Physics, a business for women to feel confident and empowered by finding their ideal bra size.

“The level of competition represented by all of our NFTE South students is beyond all expectations,” said Trish McKeel, NFTE South Regional Director. “These young entrepreneurs are not only forward thinking with their business ideas, but also grounded in the reality of giving back to their local community. They are truly amazing, and NFTE South is so very proud of them, their teachers and families!” The NFTE South Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge was presented by EY US, with associate support from the Citi Foundation, PayPal, Santander, and Shopify.   

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.


2024 NFTE South Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge Winners NFTE South Regional Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge Champion

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