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Young Entrepreneurs Academy Joins UAlbany's School of Business

Training middle and high-school students to start real businesses

News Release icon Contact: Media Relations Office (518) 956-8150

ALBANY, N.Y. (September 21, 2010) -- Very young business entrepreneurs — students in grades 6-12 — will soon be learning to run their own start-up companies at the University at Albany School of Business, thanks to the formation of a campus chapter of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!).

William Brigham, director of the Small Business Development Center

William Brigham, director of the Small Business Development Center.

Students will launch and operate legally-registered and fully formed enterprises during the course of the academic year. Students write a business plan, pitch their business to a real panel of investors, obtain funding, and launch a business. More than 50 percent of the businesses started by these young entrepreneurs continue after graduation.

The program begins mid-October and runs through June 2011, with students meeting once a week at the School of Business. The lead instructor will be Bill Brigham, director of UAlbany's award-winning Small Business Development Center.

"We wish to thank two generous donors, Michael Hoffman and Brian Straughter of Turf Hotels, Inc., for helping us launch this chapter," said School of Business Dean Donald Siegel. "We thank them for their staunch support of entrepreneurship, the University at Albany, and the Capital Region."

The program's motto is "Start as a Student, Finish as a CEO." Launched at the Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester, the program is credited with building students' confidence and entrepreneurial skills.  The program costs $1,000; a reduced price of $900 is available for the children and grandchildren of UAlbany faculty, employees, or alumni. Student and parent inquiries may be directed to Jason Cotugno, jcotugno@uamail.albany.edu.

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