Young Entrepreneurs Academy

Calendar for 2018-2019 Class Year


YEA! classes meet October through May, for three hours weekly. There are no classes during regular school holidays and recesses.


July 2018 – Early Admissions Application Deadline (applications reviewed on a rolling-basis)
Sept.22, 2018 – Fall Application Deadline


Oct. 16, 2018           Pizza Party/Class Kick Off
Oct. 23, 2018          Cool Business Field Trip
Oct. 27, 2018           Idea Generation
Oct. 30, 2018          Business Plan Introduction
Nov. 6, 2018            Field Trip
Nov. 13, 2018          Business Plan Basics/Financials

Nov. 27, 2018          Marketing & Communications
Dec. 4, 2018             Legal Services for Small Business
Dec. 11,2018             Meeting with Buyers

Jan. 8, 2019             E-Commerce
Jan. 15, 2019            Speech Card Development
Jan. 22, 2019           Niche Marketing
Jan. 29, 2019           Investor Panel Practice

Feb. 5, 2019            CEO Roundtable
Feb. 12, 2019          Mock Investor Panel Presentation
Feb. 26, 2019           Phase 2 of Website Drafts/Edits

March 5, 2019          Investor Panel Practice
March 12, 2019        Personal Style & Presentation Field Trip
March 19, 2019        Investor Panel Presentation
March 26, 2019        Advertising Campaigns & Publicity Field Trip

April 9, 2019             Designations & Awards
April 16, 2019           Trade Show Preparation
April 23, 2019           Social Entrepreneurship
April 30, 2019            Graduation Celebration

May 3, 2019             NO CLASS – Saunders Scholars National Competition Week



YEA Class of 2019

YEA! Class of 2018-2019

YEA! SEEDS Business Resource Center in the Valdosta Chamber

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) teaches middle and high school go-getters how to start and run their own, REAL businesses.


Celebrating the Spirit of Enterprise and Innovation

Founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with support from the Kauffman Foundation, YEA! has helped more than 6,000 students nationwide launch over 4,000 businesses and social movements. The Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce is excited to introduce YEA! to our community with its second year class for the 2018-2019 academic year.


Make a Job—Don’t Just Take a Job!

YEA! guides students through the process of fulfilling their very own American dream. By bridging the business and educational communities, students are taught by trained instructors, and are exposed to guest lecturers, successful entrepreneurs and mentors. Over the course of the program, students:

  • Brainstorm business ideas
  • Write a business plan
  • Interact with business professionals
  • Attend field trips for a behind-the-scenes look at local businesses
  • Pitch their business plan to local investors for startup funding and the opportunity to advance to regional and national competitions.
  • Legally register their businesses
  • Participate in a local YEA! Trade Show
  • Launch and run their own business or social movement
  • Graduate from the program with lifelong leadership and business skills

Superstar Sponsor

A big thank you to our sponsor, who has helped bring YEA! to Valdosta.


YEA! USA is made possible by the Kauffman Foundation, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the E. Philip Saunders Foundation. We also thank our national supporters, Sam’s Club and Southwest Airlines.

Student Selection Process


YEA! welcomes applications from all students in grades 6-12 who are between 11 and 18 years old. Students interested in starting their own, real businesses may apply for acceptance into the program by completing the application, which includes an essay and short-answer questions, school transcripts and letter of recommendation.


Once the completed application is received, students may be invited to attend an in-person interview. Acceptance into the program is based on all aspects of the completed application as well as the personal interview. Prior business experience is not required, nor is it required to have a business idea prior to the start of class.



Start as a student, finish as a CEO! Students ages 11 to 18 and in grades six through 12 are eligible to apply. This program offers students the chance to:

  • Develop hands-on entrepreneurial experience to launch their own business or social movement
  • Connect with local entrepreneurs
  • Pitch to a panel of investors for startup funding
  • Gain confidence in their ideas, abilities and presentation skills


Click Here to Apply Now!

Get Involved


Share your business wisdom with aspiring young entrepreneurs and help them get started on the path to success! We’re seeking expert professionals to volunteer their time as guest speakers, mentors, investors, graphic designers, field trip hosts, business plan reviewers, and more. The time YEA! students spend with adults who encourage their futures is invaluable, and you can play an important role in guiding our future leaders.


If you are interested in getting involved with YEA! and being inspired by your community’s great young minds, contact Betty Morgan at +1 (229) 247 8100 ext 234 or email

Success Stories

2016 YEA! Finalists
14-Year Old Entrepreneur
2015 YEA! Finalists


YEA! Event Sponsors
YEA! Scholarship Sponsors