Locate Finger Lakes is again offering middle and high school students in the Finger Lakes region the opportunity to participate in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy — or YEA! — to ignite the spirit of entrepreneurship.

The organization is sponsoring two YEA! chapters, one at Finger Lakes Community College and the other at Cayuga Community College. The 2019-20 program at the two academies is for motivated students who are creative and interested in learning about how to launch a successful business.

Bob Schick, chairman of the board at Lyons National Bank, said, “America is all about the entrepreneurial spirit and vision. Our great companies like Ford Motors, AT&T, Apple and Goggle were founded by people with that spirit. Moreover, 65% of all the jobs in the U.S. are created by entrepreneurs who have started and run successful small businesses. Today, more than ever, we owe it to future generations to keep this spirit alive.”

Through the sponsorship of scholarships from LNB and Locate Finger Lakes, the regular tuition cost of $1,000 per student for participation in the program has been waived, and every student accepted into the program will attend tuition-free.

Students are taught the “magic formula” on how to come up with a great idea, pitch their idea to investors, secure real funding and launch a real business or non-profit in less than 100 hours.

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy has successfully mentored students who have appeared on the hit TV show “Shark Tank,” been featured in publications such as the New York Times, USA Today, Good Morning America, INC.com, Entrepreneur Magazine, Forbes and more. YEA! graduates also have been awarded millions of dollars in college scholarships and in venture capital VC funding, and have gone on to graduate from the best business schools in the world.

Students in grades 6-12 are eligible. Cayuga Community College students began their program on Oct. 23, and FLCC students began theirs on Oct. 19. Classes meet once a week until graduation in early June.

“Finger Lakes Community College is proud and excited to be part of the YEA! program along with Cayuga Community College,” said FLCC President Dr. Robert Nye “YEA! provides students the opportunity to learn, explore and to actually be entrepreneurs through exceptional mentorship from YEA! staff and highly successful members of the business community. YEA! provides for the next generation of entrepreneurs to fuel and grow our Finger Lakes region’s economy.”

With questions about the FLCC portion of the program go to flcc.edu/YEA.

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