Young Entrepreneurs Academy At CCC Now Accepting Applications

AUBURN — As more local students express interest in applying, the deadline for applications to the exciting new Young Entrepreneurs Academy at Cayuga Community College has been extended to Oct. 12.

A successful entrepreneurial program whose graduates launched thousands of businesses, the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) helps middle and high school students hone their talents under the tutelage of Cayuga’s expert faculty and local business leaders.

Students will develop their own business idea, write a business plan and pitch that idea to potential investors for start-up funding before actually launching their business.

LOCATE Finger Lakes, an economic development initiative helping businesses and communities collaborate with marketing and networking, is partnering with Cayuga to bring the entrepreneurial program to the region. LOCATE Finger Lakes is providing full tuition scholarships for all students accepted into YEA!, making this program cost-free for students.

“This is an incredible opportunity for local students to experience launching their own business, and everything that comes with it. There’s no other program like this in the Cayuga County area,” said Cayuga President Dr. Brian Durant. “We’re excited to see great business ideas from our local students, and we thank LOCATE Finger Lakes for their assistance in helping us bring this innovative program to Cayuga Community College.”

“I am very pleased that the extended deadline will give interested students the additional time needed to submit their applications for this exciting program,” said former State Senator Mike Nozzolio, who is one of the leaders of LOCATE Finger Lakes.

YEA! has a history of success, with graduates launching more than 6,000 enterprises since the program started in 2004. There are more than 100 academies in 37 states, and graduates’ businesses have been featured in major media outlets.

The top student businesses from each academy can compete in the annual YEA! Saunders Scholars Competition, which awards scholarships and company start-up prizes.

Students ages 11-18 are eligible to apply for enrollment in YEA!. The fee for students to apply has been waived. Students who apply will need to fill out a questionnaire, write an essay and interview before they are accepted into the program. Only students residing in the Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES District are eligible for enrollment.

Courses will generally be held Wednesdays starting in October from 4-7 p.m. at Cayuga’s Auburn Campus, 197 Franklin St.

Applications and more information can be found at or by contacting Program Manager Pam Heleen at [email protected]

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a 501(C) 3 offering groundbreaking year-long classes that teach middle and high school students how to start and run their own businesses.

Throughout the class, students develop business ideas, write business plans, conduct market research, pitch their plans to a panel of investors for startup funds, and launch and run their own, fully formed companies and social movements.

The project-based program empowers students to take charge of their futures.

Founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with support from the Kauffman Foundation, YEA! today serves thousands of students nationwide.

In 2011, the United States Chamber of Commerce Foundation became a national sponsor and partner of the Academy to help celebrate the spirit of enterprise among today’s youth and tomorrow’s future leaders.

YEA! bridges the business and educational communities to fulfill its mission of teaching more students how to make a job, not just take a job. YEA! is made possible by The Kauffman Foundation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the E. Philip Saunders Foundation.

For more information, visit