2017-2018 YEA Program


Apply online here.


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
  • 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, 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.


Don't Just Take a Job - Make a Job!

YEA! guides students through the process of fulfilling their very own American dream. By bridging the business and educational communities students are taught by trained instructors, and are exposed to guest lecturers, successful entrepreneurs and mentors. Over the course of the program, students:

  • Brainstorm business ideas
  • Write a business plan
  • Interact with business professionals
  • Attend field trips for a behind-the-scenes look at local businesses
  • Pitch their business plan to local investors for startup funding and the opportunity to advance to regional and national competitions.
  • Legally register their businesses
  • Participate in a local YEA! Trade Show
  • Launch and run their own business or social movement
  • Graduate from the program with lifelong leadership and business skills

YEA! classes will meet October through May, every Wednesday afternoon from 3:30pm-6:30pm at Staten Island Tech High School. There are no classes during regular school holidays and recesses.

9/15/2018 - Last Day Applications are Accepted
TBA - Admitted Student & Parent Orientation
TBA - Weekly Classes Begin
TBA - YEA! CEO Round Table
TBA - YEA! Investor Panel
TBA - National Competition (if selected)
TBA -  Graduation

Student Selection Process
Staten Island High School students in grades 9 through 12 from public, catholic or private schools may apply for acceptance into the YEA! program by completing an application, which includes an essay and short-answer questions, school transcripts and letter of recommendation.

Once the completed application is received, students may be invited to attend an in-person interview. Acceptance into the program is based on all aspects of the completed application as well as the personal interview. Prior business experience is not required, nor is it required to have a business idea prior to the start of class.

Start as a student, finish as a CEO! High school students in grades 9 through 12 are eligible to apply. This program offers students the chance to:

  • Develop hands-on entrepreneurial experience to launch their own business or social movement
  • Connect with local entrepreneurs
  • Pitch to a panel of investors for startup funding
  • Gain confidence in their ideas, abilities and presentation skills

Apply online here.


Get Involved
Share your business wisdom with aspiring young entrepreneurs and help them get started on the path to success! We’re seeking expert professionals to volunteer their time as guest speakers, mentors, investors, graphic designers, field trip hosts, business plan reviewers, and more. The time YEA! students spend with adults who encourage their futures is invaluable, and you can play an important role in guiding our future leaders.

If you are interested in getting involved with YEA! and being inspired by your community’s great young minds, call (718) 727-1900 or e-mail Kim Burbano at
Click here to download PDF Sponsorship Application Form.

Contact Us
For more information, call (718) 727-1900 or e-mail Kim Burbano at










Presenting Sponsor:

Scholarship Sponsors:
Rab's Country Lanes
Wealth and Legacy Group

Investor Panel Sponsors:
Empire State Bank
National Grid
Northfield Bank
Small Business Development Center
Victory State Bank

Curriculum Supporter


YEA! in the Headlines:

NY 1 News

2017 Headlines

Lisa Voyticki joined Diane King Hall at the NY1 anchor desk to talk teen CEO's from Staten Island

Student Entrepreneurs Pitch Business Ideas to Staten Island Investor

Staten Island Students Learn From Business Men and Women

2016 Headlines

Students Learn Business Instead of Burgers from McDonald's Storeowner

Students Pitch Ideas in Local 'Shark Tank' Competition  

2015 Headlines

Staten Island CEOs Join Young Entrepreneur Academy

Staten Island Students Graduate Entrepreneurs Academy

2013 Headlines  

SI Chamber Of Commerce Seeks Students For New Young Entrepreneurs Academy´╗┐

Staten Island Advance

2017 Headlines

'Smelly' Staten Island teen is America's Next Top Young Entrepreneur

Staten Island Tech junior named America's Next Top Entrepreneur

Staten Island Student Named AMERICA'S Next Top Young Entrepreneur at National Competition 

2016 Headlines

Staten Island Tech senior nominated for Presidential Scholars Program


'Shark Tank' event for Staten Island high school students

Young Staten Island entreprenuer lauches record label

2015 Headlines

13 students graduate from Young Entrepreneurs Academy

SI Tech students may have the answer for managing all those passwords

Notre Dame Academy student declared winner of the YEA! 'Investor's Panel'

High School Student Turned Entrepreneur Takes Company to Regional Competition in Rochester

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

Young Entrepreneurs Academy Teen Ready To Test Her Prototype

Teen rapper Young Lucid brings Staten Island's underground rap scene to the main stage

2014 Headlines

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 

2013 Headlines

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

TD Bank sponsors program to promote young Staten Island entrepreneurs


Crain’s New York Buisness

2015 Headlines

Crain’s New York 20 Under 20 2015


Fortune - Tech 

2015 Headlines

Meet 10 budding tech stars who aren’t even 20 years old


Fox News 

2014 Headlines

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



2015 Headlines

Students Build Device to Log Into Computer Accounts Using Fingerprints


Onsite Fitness 

2016 Headlines

Fly 2B Free Swim Gear pages 21 & 22  


MakerBot Innovation Center 

2016 Headlines

The MakerBot Innovation Center Helps a Young Enterprenuer 


Staten Island Parent  

2017 Headlines

"YEA" Gabrielle!


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For the 2016-17 YEA! Program Click Here

For the 2015-16 YEA! Program Click Here 

For the 2014-15 YEA! Program Click Here