Locate Finger Lakes Business Journal

Young Entrepreneurs Compete for Thousands in Scholarships – Application Deadline September 10th!

Thousands of dollars in scholarships are on the line. An opportunity to stand out on a college application. A chance to learn essential career skills from accomplished business leaders, build relationships with entrepreneurial peers, and have a little fun along the way.

Young Entrepreneurs Compete for Thousands in Scholarships

This is all possible in the two Finger Lakes chapters of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) program, one at Cayuga Community College (CCC) and one at Finger Lakes Community College (FLCC).

Parents, teachers, and students, you’ve got to act quickly! The application deadline for the 2020-2021 YEA! program is September 10.

The application fee and tuition for the program are being covered in full again this year thanks to LOCATE Finger Lakes. Students in grades 6-12 are eligible for the program and must complete the YEA! Student Application to apply. The code to waive the application fee is yea20.

Many of the usual extracurricular programs students are used to will not be available this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents are looking for an activity to keep their kids’ minds working in a creative way – the YEA! program is all that and more.

YEA! is an exciting nine-month program that teaches students how to start and run their own businesses. YEA! graduates have been awarded millions of dollars in college scholarships, millions in venture capital funding, and have gone on to graduate from the best business schools in the world.

The CCC YEA! classes will run from October to May on Wednesday evenings from 4:00-7:00 p.m. and the FLCC YEA! classes will also run from October to May, but those sessions will be Saturday mornings from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. All classes will be virtual.

Students are guided through each step of starting an enterprise – from brainstorming the big idea, to pitching their business plan to a panel of investors, being funded, and really launching the company. Virtual classroom learning is anchored by real-world applications and experiences, such as virtual visits to local businesses, meetings with successful entrepreneurs, opening bank accounts, filing tax returns, meeting attorneys, accountants, designers, and earning real profits at a trade show!

After attending their local YEA! program, one business from each local program will move to the next stage of the competition. At the culmination of the 2019-2020 season, CCC students Alex Church and Johnny Smith of Ez-Carries and FLCC student Brandon Russell of No Touch Flush were named winners of their YEA! chapters. They now have a chance to compete for scholarship money at the 2020 YEA! Saunders Scholars Semifinals and Finals on Saturday, October 3.

Want to learn more about what it’s like to be part of the YEA! program? We interviewed CCC and FLCC YEA! program managers LaToya Collins and Pam Heleen about what’s new for the 2020-2021 season in this LOCATE Finger Lakes article: Young Entrepreneurs Academy Launches 2020-21 Program with Continued Support from LOCATE Finger Lakes.

Don’t miss your chance to be part of this elite group of students! Complete the YEA! Student Application by September 10th.

Maureen Ballatori is a contributor to the LOCATE FINGER LAKES Business Journal. She owns 29 Design Studio, a Finger Lakes-based branding and marketing agency that specializes in food and agriculture. She is also a partner in Metro Collective, a coworking venture with six locations throughout the Greater Rochester and Finger Lakes regions.

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