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UAlbany School of Business’ Academy Helps Area Youth Develop and Implement Entrepreneurial Concepts

While in the Academy, the students will brainstorm and form their enterprises, make pitches to real investors, obtain funding, file DBAs, and ultimately launch their own business or social movement. (Photo by Mark Schmidt)

ALBANY, N.Y. (August 5, 2014) -- A snowboard shop, a television cooking show, a lawn care company, and a line of home-cooked doggy treats are among the business ideas that have been developed by area students at the University at Albany's School of Business chapter of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!).

YEA!, an innovative program that transforms middle and high school students into entrepreneurs in a real world environment, will host its fall program at the University’s new state-of-the-art School of Business building. YEA! guides students between the ages of 11 and 18 through the process of starting and launching a real business or social movement over an eight month period. By the end of the session, students own and operate fully-formed and functioning businesses, which may be carried on after their graduation from the program.

"The School of Business at UAlbany is happy to once again be the host site for YEA! We are looking forward to working with the regions’ brightest and most creative young people," said Business School Dean Don Siegel.

YEA! was founded in 2004 by Gayle Jagel, while she served as director of the Office of Special Programs at the University of Rochester. Four years later, Jagel “spun-off” the program to create YEA! Inc., a not-for-profit corporation. The program is currently hosted in sites at colleges, universities and high schools across the country. The University at Albany has hosted YEA! since 2010.

“We are excited about this year’s session and look forward to working with the University at Albany because of its reputation for academic excellence,” said Jagel.

The goal of the program is to teach students at an early age how to make a job -- not just take a job. It is the only pre-college program developed by an entrepreneur, at a university, and is supported by the Kauffman Foundation and the United States Chamber of Commerce.

While in the Academy, the students will brainstorm and form their enterprises, make pitches to real investors, obtain funding, file DBAs, and ultimately launch their own business or social movement. Business mentors, graphic designers, and local entrepreneurs will visit and support the students throughout the process and engage them in a professional environment.

Classes run from November through June, and follow the public school calendar for breaks.

“The entire community is really excited about the school’s plans to continue to promote student involvement,” adds Jagel, “We encourage all local business leaders to become involved with the program and to act as mentors to the budding entrepreneurs.”

For more information on applying to the Academy, visit the School of Business YEA! site.

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!)
The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a groundbreaking and exciting eight month long class that transforms middle and high school students into real, confident entrepreneurs. Throughout the class, students develop business ideas, write business plans, conduct market research, pitch their plans to a panel of investors, and actually launch and run their own real, legal, fully formed companies and social movements. Founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with support from the Kauffman Foundation, the Young Entrepreneurs Academy today serves thousands of students in communities across America. For more information about the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, please call (585) 272.3535 or visit

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