Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) Emerald Coast

                            Apply Now - 2016 Application


Learn More About YEA! Emerald Coast


Background on Program
The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a five month program that teaches high school students how to start and run their own REAL businesses. YEA! was developed at the University of Rochester in 2004 with the support of a grant from the Kauffman Foundation. YEA! came to the Emerald Coast via the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce in 2013, and is in it's thir year sponosred by Northwest Florida State College and the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce, Destin Area Chamber of Commerce and Doolittle Institute!

YEA! guides high school students through the process of starting and running a legitimate business or social movement over the course of five months. As of 2013, YEA! has graduated 1,394 students who have started over 1,000 businesses and social movements! YEA! graduates started as students, and left the program as CEOs of their own companies!

Over the course of the program, students:
  • Brainstorm business ideas
  • Write a business plan
  • Interact with business professionals
  • Pitch their business plan to potential "investors" (think ABC's "Shark Tank")
  • Obtain funding
  • Legally register their businesses
  • Actually launch their own businesses or social movements
Why Apply?
This program offers students the chance to:
  • Develop the skills necessary to launch their own business or social movement (hands-on entrepreneurial experience!)
  • Learn about real businesses - why they succeed or fail
  • Hear from local entrepreneurs
  • Launch their own business or social movement!
  • Become more confident in their ideas and their abilities
Organization of Program
YEA! classes will meet January through May 2016, for three hours weekly.

There are no classes during regular school holidays and recesses. Students are taught by an instructor, but are exposed to guest lecturers, successful entrepreneurs and business mentors.
Student Selection Process
To apply for YEA!, students must:
  • Fill out the YEA! application (available on this page above)
  • Complete the essay and the short answer questions
  • Submit their transcripts
  • Submit a letter of recommendation
Once the completed application packet is received, students will be asked to come in for an interview. Acceptance in the program is based on all aspects of an application, as well as the personal interview. Prior experience with business is not required!
How Business Professionals Can Get Involved
Through their interactions with business professionals during the year, YEA! students gain some of the most important knowledge and experience they need to succeed. Local professionals volunteer their time and expertise as guest speakers, mentors, investors, graphic designers, business plan reviewers, and much more. The time YEA! students spend with adults who encourage their futures is invaluable, and participants often report getting even more out of their participation than they put in to it! 
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If you are interested in becoming involved with YEA! as a guest speaker or volunteer, contact: 
Kate Scanlan
Phone: (850) 729-6880
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