Monday, November 18, 2013

Young Entrepreneur Academy Info Session Thursday

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy, or YEA!, is an innovative program that guides students through the process of starting their own real business. The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber is excited to announce the start of the YEA! program at University of Washington Tacoma.

YEA! is a groundbreaking program that takes high school students through the process of starting and launching a real business or social movement. By the end of the class, students own and operate fully-formed and functioning businesses, which may continue on after graduating from the program. YEA! aims at teaching students at an early age how to make a job, not just take a job.

“We are excited about the expansion and specifically chose the Tacoma, because of its reputation for academic excellence,” said Gayle Jagel, the CEO and founder of YEA!. YEA! currently operates sites in colleges, universities and high schools across the country.

“We are so excited to be able to advance the business education of high school students through the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. Our goal is to eventually provide a unique and challenging experience for all students interested in participating,” said Tom Pierson, Chamber President & CEO.

The program requires a six-month commitment from its young executives. In that time they brainstorm and form their enterprises, make pitches to potential investors, obtain funding, register their companies with governmental agencies, and actually launch their own company or social movement! Business mentors, graphic designers, and local entrepreneurs support the students throughout the program and all of the learning is real and experiential.

Students and their parents can join the Chamber for a YEA! Night to learn about the structure, curriculum, and application process. YEA! brochures and applications will be available at the event. The session will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Thurs., Nov., 21 at the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce (950 Pacific Ave, Suite 300) in the Simpson Community Room. RSVP to by Wed., Nov. 20 to attend.

“One of the most interesting components of the program is the actual behind the scenes knowledge the students are given from local business leaders, who were at one time, standing in their shoes!” said Lynnette Buffington, Chamber Membership Outreach Manager and HR. “The experience is something they will be able to apply to whatever field they choose to enter, thereby giving them the necessary skills to become future leaders of industry.”

“We are urging all local business leaders to become involved with the program and act as mentors to the budding entrepreneurs,” adds Jagel. By partnering with YEA!, large and small businesses volunteer time and services acting as mentors, field trip hosts, guest lecturers, graphic designers, web developers, attorneys, etc. Community support strengthens the program, and the academy strengthens the community.

About the Young Entrepreneurs Academy:
The Young Entrepreneurs Academy, or YEA!?, is a groundbreaking educational program that takes students in grades six through twelve through the process of starting and running real businesses over the course of a full academic year. Students work in close cooperation with local leaders of industry, community members, and educators to develop ideas and objectives, write business plans, pitch potential investors, obtain funding, register with governmental agencies, develop their brand identity and much more!

By the end of the class, students own and operate fully functioning businesses that can be carried on after graduation. Students learn to make a job--not just take a job! YEA!’s direct mission is to help students embrace their passion, energy, creativity and talents, launch a venture, and view entrepreneurship as synonymous with success and freedom.

In 2008, YEA! “spun-off” from the University of Rochester, where it was formed in 2004 with support from the Kauffman Foundation, to create its own not-for-profit corporation, YEA! Inc., which is currently launching sites in colleges, universities and high schools across the country to provide comprehensive, exciting entrepreneurship education, leadership development and innovation training to youth between the ages of 11 and 18 years old in the United States thereby making the program available to students at a variety of geographical regions, and providing them with skills they need to succeed in the 21st Century. For more information about the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, please call 585.272.3535 or visit

Begin as a student and finish as a CEO!©

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