Have you ever met a kid and thought “They are definitely going places.”? Usually, a glint in the eye, or an especially thoughtful or insightful comment makes that impression.
Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) helps those kids take their concepts from spark to reality. Do your kids, or kids you know, fit this bill?
Now’s their chance to apply for Frisco’s 2019-2020 class.
Can I get a YEA?
YEA! was originally launched in 2004 at the University of Rochester to help bridge the gap between an area’s education and business communities. As a global initiative, it focuses on empowering kids and developing their professional talents.
After it gained momentum, Chambers of Commerce became sponsors.
Then, in 2008, the Frisco Chamber became the first in Texas to offer YEA! as a 9 month program that guides middle school and high school students through the process of starting their own business.
Students age 11 – 18 can apply online where they’ll find a comprehensive application. Firstly they have to answer questions about their interest in entrepreneurship. Secondly, they answer an essay question about their character and how they have exhibited the traits of business owners and innovators.
Of course, the part about grades and other questions follow, too. Finally, there’s a $20 application fee. Applicants must press the “submit” button before 5 pm on Friday, September 13. You can find more on the website.
What happens next?
Once accepted from the huge field of applicants, participants in YEA get into the business of business. They work with community leaders, educators, and professionals. These mentors teach kids the how-to skills they need to succeed:
- develop ideas and objectives
- write business plans
- pitch to potential investors
- register with governmental agencies
- develop their brand identity
- participate in trade shows
- and much more!
This is the real world education many parents and kids dream about.
How “real world” is this?
Very. Obviously, Frisco is a city that’s all about innovation. Of course, that means our students tend toward thought leadership, too. YEA graduates Rooha Alexander and Tushar Jain prove this with their business, Conspire. Conspire is a platform on which students can create original content. Rooha and Tushar then work to refine and promote the work through a variety of channels.
You can hear more of their story in this Lifestyle PROFILES interview.
Another can’t-miss interview is that of Sidharth Sood, winner of last year’s YEA Investors Pitch Panel. His company, Arise Wearables, aims to create shoe tech that powers our wearable tech. His inspiration? Everyone’s favorite 80’s flick, Back to the Future.
These students bring creativity and youthful inspiration. The mentors provide know-how and insight. Together they’re seeing very real progress.
The big picture.
However you look at it, you see a world in change. In order to succeed, kids need tools that equip them well. The Young Entrepreneurs Academy is built on the idea that good models yield good results. It follows that YEA! is built on solid beliefs. That also shows in its mission statement:
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.
Additionally, the mission is backed up by a clear goal and a value statement:
- The Goal: Students learn to make a job–not just take a job!
- The Value: By the end of the class, students own and operate fully functioning businesses that can be carried on after graduation.
YEA! wants to build leaders. Belief in our kids is also belief in our future. So if you do know one of those inspiring kids, take a minute.
Forward this story or the YEA! link to them or their parents. Encourage them to see what might come of their ideas. The possibilities are endless.
No matter how you look at it, YEA! is worth celebrating.