Three young entrepreneurs from area high schools won top honors in the NFTE (Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship) Bay Area Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge held at The City Club of San Francisco on June 4.

The students pitched their business ideas to a panel of expert judges, competing for cash prizes and a free trip to New York City this fall to represent the Bay Area region in the next round of nationwide competition. The first and second place winners at the Bay Area regional finals now advance to the quarterfinal rounds of NFTE’s National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge, where they’ll go head-to-head with other top young entrepreneurs from across the U.S., competing for seed capital to grow their businesses or pursue educational goals.

The results of the Bay Area regional finals:

  • First place went to 18-year-old Alicia Corcuchia from John O'Connell High School, the founder of Green Basket, an affordable and nutritious subscription meal box for low-income families.
  • Second place went to 19-year-old Stiven Olivares of Galileo High School, the creator of Tutor Connect, an app that connects people to tutors who can meet their language and subject needs.
  • Third place went to 17-year-old Oscar E. Reyes and 18-year-old Jason Devera from Mt. Eden High School, the creators of DestinED, an app that helps educate people on what jobs are at risk of being replaced by technology.

Student business pitches were judged by a panel of experts that included:

  • Judith Williams, SVP, Global Head of People Sustainability & Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, SAP
  • John Henning, CMO, Head of Professional Services, Granite Solutions Groupe
  • Phillip Mazzie Partner – Partner | Transaction Advisory Services | West Region Leader, EY
  • Calanthia Mei- Investor, PayPal Ventures
  • John Finley- Head of Innovation and Customer Journeys, Bank of the West

Three special awards were presented during the evening event. Walker Seligson, a a teacher at Galileo Academy of Science and Technology in San Francisco, CA, was awarded the NFTE Bay Area Model Teacher Challenge Award. Seligson now advances to the final round of national competition in the NFTE Model Teacher Challenge. Bank of the West BNP Paribas was honored with the NFTE Bay Area Corporate Volunteer of the Year Award, and the NFTE Bay Area Individual Volunteer of the Year Award went to Manny Cervantes of Univision.

The NFTE Bay Area Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge was presented by EY, PayPal Gives and First Republic Bank with additional support from Citi Foundation, and Microsoft. The evening event was emceed by Emmy Award winning reporter, Juliette Goodrich of KPIX Channel 5.


About NFTE
NFTE is the leading educational nonprofit focused on teaching startup skills and activating the entrepreneurial mindset in young people from under-resourced communities. Research shows the entrepreneurial mindset—skills including problem-solving, adaptability, initiative, and self-reliance—leads to lifelong success. Equipped with the business and academic skills NFTE teaches and empowered by the entrepreneurial mindset, NFTE alumni are prepared to thrive. NFTE works with schools and community partners across the country through its nationwide network of program offices. Alliances with global youth development organizations bring NFTE programs to additional students internationally. NFTE reaches more than 100,000 young people annually and has served well over a million students since its founding. Learn more at

Ashley Johnson
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