Twenty high school students will compete in a day of business plan presentations as part of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) program, starting at 8 a.m. Tuesday, May 19, at Fresno State’s University Business Center.

Students from 11 Central Valley high schools spent the past year finalizing their business plans and honing their presentation skills to prep for the event. Students presented their business plans to a panel of judges at in-class competitions in March and April. First- and second-place students were chosen from each school to participate in the semi-finals on Tuesday.

The top five students from the semi-finals will present at the ninth annual NFTE Central California Regional Business Plan Competition and Banquet from 5:30-9 p.m. Tuesday at The Loft Events (1028 N. Fulton St.) in Fresno. Valley business owners will serve as judges for the event and will choose three students to be crowned regional winners and receive up to $500.

The first-place winner will receive an all-expense paid trip in October to New York to compete in the NFTE National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge for a $25,000 grand prize.

“We are very proud of all of our NFTE students and their incredible accomplishments,” said Laurie Zaninovich, creative learning manager at the Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “Their excitement for their business plans and this program is infectious.”

NFTE provides entrepreneurial education programs to young people to enhance their economic productivity by improving their business, academic and life skills. NFTE has worked with nearly 450,000 people across the U.S. and around the world. The Lyles Center manages Fresno State’s involvement in the program and will host both events.

For additional information, contact Laurie Zaninovich (559) 278-3922 or