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Young Entrepreneurs Academy at Cayuga Community College Now Accepting Applications


AUBURN — Cayuga Community College is accepting applications for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!), a free 30-week program guiding middle and high school students through developing and running their own business or nonprofit agency.

A highly successful program, YEA! helps students build their entrepreneurial skills under the tutelage of Cayuga’s dedicated faculty and local business leaders. Students will not only develop their own proposal, but also conduct research, write a detailed business plan, pitch to potential investors and actually launch their own enterprise.

Since the start of YEA! in 2004, graduates have launched more than 6,000 enterprises and have been featured in The New York Times, CNN, USA TODAY and on the popular business TV show “Shark Tank.”

“YEA! has a strong record of helping students develop their interests into successful businesses and nonprofit agencies. Their emphasis on teaching students the skills they need for the future is an approach that supports the development of local businesses and matches the mission of Cayuga Community College,” said Cayuga President Dr. Brian Durant. “We are proud to offer local students the chance to enroll in this program.”

YEA! guides students through all stages of running a business, including working with attorneys, accountants and graphic designers, plus pitching their idea to possible investors for start-up funding. Along the way, students will tour local businesses and hear from area corporate leaders about how to be successful in the business community.

The program also helps students develop their networking and leadership skills, plus offers an opportunity for students to win college scholarships.

YEA! at Cayuga begins in October and runs for eight months. Generally, courses are Wednesday evenings from 4-7 p.m. Applicants must interview and write an essay before being accepted into the program. Applications are due September 15th. There is no fee to apply, nor is there a fee for students who are accepted into the program.

Applications and more information can be found at or by contacting Program Manager Pam Heleen at

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

About Cayuga Community College

Founded in 1953, Cayuga Community College is one of 64 accredited institutions that make up the State University of New York (SUNY) system.  Cayuga offers open access and an affordable gateway to higher education, with courses and degree programs offered at campuses in Auburn and Fulton, NY and online. Cayuga Community College provides a strong liberal arts foundation for further study and career preparation. The College also addresses identified community needs through targeted training and personal enrichment programs. By sustaining academic excellence within a supportive learning environment, the College, a careful steward of human and fiscal resources, serves as a valuable asset to the development of our local, regional, and global communities.

Contact: Andrew Poole
Phone: 315-294-8803

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