The Young Entrepreneurs Academy at MVCC is seeking applicants for its 2020-2021 class

As they face a very different and challenging school year, area students can take advantage of a silver lining and dive into a unique class to become real business owners!

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a groundbreaking program that transforms local middle and high school students into real, confident entrepreneurs. Started at the University of Rochester in 2004 with support from the Kauffman Foundation, YEA is now in 168 communities across America with classes also in Shanghai and India. More than 4,000 students nationwide have launched over 3,000 businesses and social movements. This will be the ninth year that Mohawk Valley Community College has hosted it in the greater Utica area and applications are now open for the upcoming class.

Students from all local school districts are encouraged to apply and educators are invited to nominate students they believe will excel in the program. Full and partial scholarships are available to qualifying students.

Application deadline: Friday, October 2

Find application and information at:

Classes are held on Wednesday evenings from October 14, 2020 – May 12, 2021 from 4:30-7:30pm

  • In October and November, classes will begin in person and will be held at thINCubator on Broad Street in Downtown Utica.
  • In December and half of January, classes will be held virtually
  • From mid-January through graduation in May, classes are planned to be held at Mohawk Valley Community College’s Utica campus
  • Classes are not held during school breaks

The class is open to students in grades 6-12 and class size is limited. Students do NOT have to have a business idea coming into the class.

During the class, students:

  • Learn how to create a business they are passionate about
  • Complete market research and develop a business plan
  • Work one-on-one with business mentors and graphic designers
  • Attend field trips to learn from local entrepreneurs
  • Pitch their ideas at a “Shark Tank-style” investor panel presentation to win real start-up funds
  • Legally register their business as a DBA
  • Take part in a trade show
  • Graduate from the program with lifelong leadership and business skills

One student from the program is chosen to represent our class at the Saunders Scholars national competition at RIT and will compete against students from all over the country!

Program sponsors include M&T Bank/Partners Trust Bank Charitable Fund and Berkshire Bank. Partners include the Observer-Dispatch and the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce.

Parents and educators can contact Program Manager Michelle Truett at 315-534-0067 or for more information.

Lockwood Law


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