Four teams pitched their businesses to a panel of executives in the Next Generation Entrepreneurs Finale Competition. The top three teams went home with college scholarships
Largo, Fla. – The Pinellas Education Foundation, in partnership with Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay’s 3DE program, hosted the Next Generation Entrepreneurs Finale Competition, where four top finalist teams pitched their business concepts to a panel of executives competing to win college scholarships.
Next Generation Entrepreneurs (NGE), a program of the Pinellas Education Foundation, is open to all Pinellas County High School students. NGE allows students to brainstorm new business concepts and bring innovative ideas to market under the guidance of business mentors and coaches in the community. This year, the Pinellas Education Foundation partnered with Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay’s 3DE program to reach more students in the classroom.
3DE is an instructional model implemented in Pinellas County Public High Schools aimed at expanding economic opportunity for all students through core competency development and business case methodology. 11th grade students in the 3DE model apply what they have learned working with 12 local and national partners to creating their own viable business with their year-long project.
Natalie Walker from St. Petersburg High School won the grand prize of a $5,000 college scholarship for their business ‘Whole Solutions,’ a software application with new capabilities to scan products in grocery stores and alert consumers if it contains a food allergy. The pitch stressed the importance of allowing individuals to ‘live life wholly,’ without being overcome by diet culture and focusing strictly on food allergies.
Cameron Walsh, Cynthia Green, and Arlen Martinez from Dunedin High School were the first runner-up team for the self-care company ‘Take Care,’ which creates homemade lotions and candles; they went home with a $3,500 scholarship. The second runner-up, winning a $1,500 scholarship, was Melissa Baltazar from Dunedin High for her custom jewelry business, Amour de Miel.
“We are so incredibly of our 3DE students from Dunedin and St. Petersburg High School who have worked tirelessly to bring their businesses to life,” said Olivier Millour, Manager, Partnerships & Development for Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay. “We are also proud to continue our long-standing partnership with the Pinellas Education Foundation through 3DE and are grateful to them for providing this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to our students.”
“Innovation is one of our core beliefs. Supporting students, in partnership with Junior Achievement’s 3DE Schools, allows us to amplify their curriculum hopefully inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs,” said Dr. Stacy Baier, CEO of the Pinellas Education Foundation.
About the Pinellas Education Foundation:
Established in 1986, the Pinellas Education Foundation is a dynamic, nationally recognized non-profit organization that leads the way in advancing public education and student achievement. The Foundation is committed to equity—a belief that every student deserves a high-quality education. Its mission is to accelerate educational achievement for all students through the effective mobilization of innovation, relationships, and resources, ensuring that every student will be prepared for life after high school. Foundation programs support academic achievement, whether students choose to attend college, enter the workforce, or obtain technical training, with program directors collaborating closely with Pinellas County Schools and a number of community and corporate partners. To learn more about the Pinellas Education Foundation and its partners, please visit https://pinellaseducation.org/.
About Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay
Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay inspired 47,438 students with more than 1,065,961 Instructional Contact Hours in 2021-2022 in the thirteen-county region. Junior Achievement is a for impact, non-profit organization that delivers K-12 programming for entrepreneurship, financial literacy and career readiness including three capstone programs of JA BizTown and JA Finance Park and the new 3DE by Junior Achievement high school model. For more information on the organization, visit jatampabay.org
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