About the Young Entrepreneur Academy

The Young Entrepreneur Academy (YEA!) is the only one of its kind in New York City. Originally developed with support from the Kauffman Foundation at the University of Rochester in 2004, YEA!’s mission is to develop and deliver experience-based entrepreneurship programs to young people to:

·         Enable them to transition successfully to adulthood;

·         Help them to pursue their dreams by harnessing their creativity and energy;

·         Help them transform their ideas into tangible enterprises that create economic and social value for a better world;

·         Develop the character of tomorrow’s leaders based on personal principles and values;

·         Enable educational institutions and Chambers of Commerce to provide successful and effective entrepreneurship programs for middle and high school students;

·         Create a culture of innovation in schools and communities across the nation; and

·         Foster the entrepreneurial mindset in young people, educators, and community members.


The United States Chamber of Commerce Foundation became a national sponsor and partner of the Young Entrepreneur Academy in 2011.  Today, YEA! serves thousands of students in 168 countries, teaching them how to make a job, not just take a job.


YEA! provides a focused introduction to the business world, combining a dynamic, proven curriculum with the experiences of local leaders of industry, community members, educators and entrepreneurs. The goal of all YEA! classes is for each student to successfully launch their own business.




Student Winners of the 2014-2015 YEA! Program


Sydney Kennedy, CEO of Fortitude
From Notre Dame Academy High School, Class of 2016

Investor Panel Presentation Winner Who Represented Staten Island at Regional Saunders Semi-Finals Competition in Rochester.
Sydney Kennedy, CEO of Fortitude has successfully launched her business due to the guidance and prayers of all her mentors. Looking forward into Fortitude’s future, Sydney plans on hosting multiple jewelry parties and continue expanding her name throughout New York City. The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation has reached out with helping hands wanting to assist Sydney  with her ultimate goal of donating $5,000 to the MS Organization within the next year.



Akshay Pandya, CEO of Web-It
From Staten Island Technical High School, Class of 2016

Sam’s Club Special Award Winner
Web-It is currently working on it’s website, set to launch in early July. We have connected with several potential clients through the Investor Panel as well as the YEA! Trade Show. We plan to start designing and marketing for clients beginning in July. Web-It looks forward to working with various restaurant owners.





Photo Gallery


NY 1 News

Staten Island CEOs Join Young Entrepreneur Academy

Staten Island Students Graduate Entrepreneurs Academy
SI Chamber Of Commerce Seeks Students For New Young Entrepreneurs Academy


Staten Isalnd Advance

SI Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Young Entrepreneur Academy to host CEO roundtable

Apple-Metro CEO Zane Tankel discusses business success for Young Entrepreneurs Academy

Hilton Garden Inn hosts Young Entrepreneur Academy students

Young Entrepreneurs Academy program seeking applications from high school students

Will Staten Island teen's invention be the next big thing?

Budding entrepreneurs compete for funding to upstart their businesses

Budding entrepreneurs appeal to 'Shark Tank'-like investors

Young entrepreneur competes in regional competition

Young Entrepreneurs treated to tales of success

YEA! will give Staten Island students the chance to launch their own business

TD Bank sponsors program to promote young Staten Island entrepreneurs


Fox News (Students from 2013-2014 YEA! Program)

Check It Out: Invention makes passwords a thing of the past




Special Thank You to Our YEA! Scholarship Sponsors:


Empire State Bank

Northfield Bank Foundation

Rab Wilkinson Foundation

The Office of Councilwoman Debi Rose

Wealth and Legacy Group

Special Thank You to Our YEA! Investor Panel Sponsors:

America’s SBDC New York

Claire Properties

Gerald Peters Gold Mine Jewelers

Internicola Law Firm


Northfield Bank Foundation

Pictures on Gold

Rampulla Associates Architects L.L.P.

Richmond County Savings Bank 

TD Bank

Victory State Bank


YEA! Investor Panel Event