Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!)


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Contact: Kirstin Maska, [email protected], or 970-263-2916
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The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a year-long program that teaches middle and 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. The Grand Junction Area Chamber is excited to be introducing YEA! to Grand Junction and Mesa County!

YEA! guides middle and high school students through the process of starting and running a legitimate business or social movement over the course of a full academic year. YEA! has graduated almost 4,000 students over the past 12 years, who have started almost 3,000 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 Shark Tank meets the Apprentice meets American Idol)
• Obtain funding
• Legally register their businesses
• Participate in a Trade Show
• Actually launch their own businesses or social movements

The program meets on Tuesday from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM during the academic year with occasional supplemental events. Classes will not meet during school breaks and holidays

View the most recent YEA! News

Listen to an interview with Darcy Weir, former YEA! Program Manager and 2018 Saunders Scholar and the National YEA! People’s Choice Award winner, Nick Silzell, as he discusses his new business along with his participation in the Grand Junction Young Entrepreneurs Academy.

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