• Young Entrepreneurs Academy

    Building our next generation of leaders.

    We’re pleased to offer this inspirational program for aspiring entrepreneurs in our community. 

    Apply for the 2019-2020 Class Now!

    Nominate a student here!


    About the Academy
    The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) teaches middle and high school go-getters how to start and run their own, REAL businesses. 

    Celebrating the Spirit of Enterprise and Innovation
    Founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with support from the Kauffman Foundation, YEA! has helped more than 4,000 students nationwide launch over 3,000 businesses and social movements. The Corning Area Chamber of Commerce is excited to introduce YEA! to our community with its eighth class for the 2019-20 academic year.

    Make a Job—Don’t Just Take a Job!
    YEA! guides students through the process of fulfilling their very own American dream. By bridging the business and educational communities students are taught by trained instructors, and are exposed to guest lecturers, successful entrepreneurs and mentors. Over the course of the program, students:

    • Brainstorm business ideas 
    • Write a business plan 
    • Interact with business professionals
    • Attend field trips for a behind-the-scenes look at local businesses
    • Pitch their business plan to local investors for startup funding and the opportunity to advance to regional and national competitions
    • Legally register their businesses
    • Participate in a local YEA! Trade Show
    • Launch and run their own business or social movement
    • Graduate from the program with lifelong leadership and business skills

    YEA! classes meet October through May, for three hours weekly. There are no classes during regular school holidays and recesses. 

    September 2019 – Fall Application Deadline
    October 2019 - Admitted Student & Parent Orientation
    October 2019 – Weekly Classes Begin
    March 2020 – YEA Investor Panel
    May 2020 – YEA Trade Show
    May 2020 – YEA Commencement
    May 2020 – YEA National Competition (if selected)

    Student Selection Process
    YEA! welcomes applications from all students in grades six through 12 who are between 11 and 18 years old. Students interested in starting their own, real business may apply for acceptance into the program by completing the application, which includes an essay and short-answer questions, school transcript and letter of recommendation. 

    Once the completed application is received, students may be invited to attend an in-person interview. Acceptance into the program is based on all aspects of the completed application as well as the personal interview. Prior business experience is not required, nor is it required to have a business idea prior to the start of class.

    Start as a student, finish as a CEO! Students ages 11 to 18 and in grades six through 12 are eligible to apply. This program offers students the chance to:

    • Develop hands-on entrepreneurial experience to launch their own business or social movement 
    • Connect with local entrepreneurs 
    • Pitch to a panel of investors for startup funding
    • Gain confidence in their ideas, abilities and presentation skills

    Still interested in learning more? Students, fill out our YEA! Student Interest Form to hear from your local Program Manager!  

    Ready to apply? We offer two easy ways to submit your application!
    1. Apply online
    2. Print out, complete and submit your paper application

    Get Involved
    Share your business wisdom with aspiring young entrepreneurs and help them get started on the path to success! We’re seeking expert professionals to volunteer their time as guest speakers, mentors, investors, graphic designers, field trip hosts, business plan reviewers, and more. The time YEA! students spend with adults who encourage their futures is invaluable, and you can play an important role in guiding our future leaders.

    If you are interested in getting involved with YEA! and being inspired by your community’s great young minds, contact Denise Ackley at (607) 936-4686 or email dkackley@corningny.com.

    Program Sponsors:

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