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Sutherland Hosts Local Students as They Vie for Seed Money to Fund Start-Up Businesses or Academic Pursuits Through the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship Competition

May 12, 2011

WASHINGTON (May 12, 2011) – When Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP hosts the 33rd annual Regional Business Plan Competition this week, the firm will help local high school students get a dose of entrepreneurial education through old-fashioned competition. It’s a celebratory culmination of the students’ yearlong involvement with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), a program that empowers them to own their education inside and outside of the classroom.

Throughout the school year, students from D.C., Maryland, and Virginia participated in an 80-hour “mini-MBA" program. Participants were charged with developing original business plans for the annual competition. They received guidance along the way in the form of coursework focused on the basics of launching a business and the real-world relevance of math, reading, and writing.

During this week’s events, teens will present their business plans to panels of successful entrepreneurs, senior business executives, and civic leaders from the region. The final competition and awards ceremony on Thursday, May 12, will be held at Sutherland, located at 1275 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. These activities, open to the press, will take place between 5 and 9 p.m. 

“Sutherland is happy to be sponsoring the NFTE Regional Business Competition for the third year," says Cynthia Krus, partner and co-leader of the Corporate Group at Sutherland. “The business competition ignites the entrepreneurial spirit in everyone—the students, the teachers and the supporters. Students are learning they don’t need to just take a job, they can make a job. We are excited to be a part of spreading that spirit and seeing the American dream come alive in these students."

The winner will take home $1,500, and the competition’s second and third places will earn $750 and $500, respectively. Students are urged to use their financial reward as seed money to launch their business plans or to further their educations. Additionally, the top two finalists will be invited to participate in the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge in New York City on October 6, 2011.

According to Julie Silard Kantor, the executive director of NFTE D.C. Region and the national vice president of government affairs, “NFTE is now supporting teachers at 23 different schools and 50 classrooms in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, reaching close to 950 students annually." Recent university research, she added, indicates that engaging youth through such programs as NFTE has a significant impact on their desire to attend college.

Since 1987, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship has inspired young people to pursue educational opportunities, start their own businesses, and succeed in life through entrepreneurship education programs relevant to the real world. The program is active in 18 states and nine countries. For more information, visit

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is a law firm with global reach known for solving challenging business problems and resolving sophisticated legal issues for many of the world’s largest companies. Founded in 1924, the firm handles matters throughout the United States and worldwide. Seven major practice areas—corporate, energy and environmental, financial services, intellectual property, litigation, real estate, and tax—provide the framework for an extensive range of focus areas, allowing Sutherland attorneys to serve a diverse client base that ranges from small and medium-sized start-up businesses to a significant number of Fortune 100 companies.

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Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is an international law firm helping the Fortune 100, industry leaders, sector innovators and business entrepreneurs solve their biggest challenges and reach their business goals. Dedicated to unfaltering excellence in client service, we are known for our business savvy and industry intelligence, providing creative and custom solutions for each of our clients. Industry and business experience makes the difference for our clients.

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