Young Entrepreneurs Academy

Calendar for 2019-2020 Class Year


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


July 21 2019 – Early Admissions Application Deadline (applications reviewed on a rolling-basis)
Sept.22, 2019 – Fall Application Deadline


Oct. 15, 2019          Pizza Party/Class Kick Off
Oct. 22, 2019         Cool Business Field Trip
Oct. 26, 2019         Idea Generation
Oct. 29, 2019         Business Plan Introduction

Nov. 5, 2019           Market Analysis and Marketing Plan
Nov. 12, 2019         Management Summary
Nov 19, 2019          Food Franchise Field Trip
Nov. 26, 2019         Thanksgiving Break

Dec. 3, 2019           Marketing and Communications Concepts
Dec. 10, 2019         Deep Dive Into Financials
Dec. 17-31, 2019    Holiday Break

Jan. 7, 2019            Legal Structures and IP Protection
Jan. 14, 2020         Meeting With Buyers
Jan. 21, 2020         No Class
Jan. 28, 2020        Ecommerce Strategy

Feb. 4, 2020          Graphic Designer Meeting
Feb. 11, 2020         Student Introductions and Business Descriptions
Feb. 13, 2020         CEO Roundtable
Feb. 18, 2020         Elevator Pitch and Contest
Feb. 25, 2020         Investor Panel Practice

March 3, 2020         Phase Two of Website Drafts
March 10, 2020       “Mock”  Investor Panel
March 17, 2020        Personal Style and Presentation Fieldtrip
March 19, 2020        Investor Panel
March 24, 2020       Launching the Business
March 31, 2020        No Class

April 7, 2020            No Class
April 14, 2020         Business Registration Field Trip and Government Resources Guest
April 21, 2020         Advertising Campaigns and Publicity

May 5, 2020            Banking
May 9, 2020            Trade Shows
May 12, 2020          Investors Reports
May 19, 2020          Graduation Celebration and Letter/Video Messages to Next Year YEA! Students


YEA! Class of 2019-2020

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 third year class for the 2019-2020 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

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

Special Thanks to all of our 2019-2020


A special Thank You to those who have continued to sponsor YEA! The 2019-2020 year will begin in October. If you would like to become a sponsor, contact Betty Morgan @

Investor Panel Judge Sponsors:

Miller Hardware
Lowndes County Schools
CJB Industries
Barnes Health Care
RISE Real Estate YEA! Investor Panel Judge
The Home Depot

Champion Sponsors:

Virtual World
Lee Container YEA! Sponsor 2020

Scholarship Sponsors:

Hunter Outdoor Connections YEA! Sponsor 2020
PCA - Packing Corporation of America YEA! Sponsor 2020
Anchored Media Marketing YEA! Sponsor 2020
Valdosta City Schools YEA! Sponsor 2020
Angie Crawford State Farm YEA! Sponsor 2020
Renasant Bank YEA! Sponsor 2020
South Georgia Travel YEA! Sponsor 2020
Southeastern Credit Union YEA! Sponsor 2020
Nexxtep Technologies YEA! Sponsor 2020

Event Sponsors:

Sunset Farm Foods Event Sponsor YEA! 2020