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Young Entrepreneurs Academy launches 2020-21 program

We could all use a little inspiration right now. A dash of innovation. Some dreams that can be realized. The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) program at Finger Lakes Community College (FLCC) and Cayuga Community College (CCC) is making those dreams a reality for the third year in a row thanks to LOCATE Finger Lakes.

YEA! students enjoyed a CEO panel discussion in the Fall of 2019 at FLCC. Shown in photo left to right: FLCC YEA! Program Manager, LaToya Collins, SCORE – Greater Rochester Chapter Chair, John J. Diehl, LOCATE FINGER LAKES Chairman, Michael Nozzolio, 29 Design Studio Founder + CEO, Maureen Ballatori, Canandaigua Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Ethan Fogg, MRB Group Director of Business Development, Diana Smith, Economic Development and Planning, Wayne County IDA, Director & CEO, Brian Pincelli.

I’m Maureen Ballatori, Founder + CEO of marketing and branding agency 29 Design Studio located in the Finger Lakes. I’ve been involved with the YEA! program a lot over the years. I’ve been involved with YEA! student businesses since 2008, as a graphic designer, business and community mentor and a speaker on the CEO Panel last fall at FLCC. I’m constantly inspired by the entrepreneurial spark these students have. With the 2020-2021 YEA! program starting soon at FLCC and CCC, I interviewed LaToya Collins and Pam Heleen, YEA! Program Managers, to share why they are excited about what’s to come.

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is an exciting program that transforms local middle and high school students into real, confident entrepreneurs. Students in grades 6-12 generate business ideas, conduct market research, write business plans, pitch to a panel of investors, and launch their very own companies.

The application deadline for the 2020-2021 year is approaching soon on September 10.

“It’s like a Shark Tank for middle schoolers and high schoolers including pitching to investor panels,” says Pam Heleen, Program Manager for the YEA! program at Cayuga Community College (CCC).

“I’m so excited that this year, these students will have enhanced knowledge that will propel them forward,” remarked LaToya Collins, Program Manager for the FLCC YEA! program. “We’ll be able to tap into resources from around the world to work with the YEA! students here.”

A major supporter of the YEA! program, LOCATE Finger Lakes proudly joins YEA!’s search for aspiring young entrepreneurs in the Finger Lakes region. LOCATE Finger Lakes will once again be covering the full cost of tuition for all students accepted into the program.

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This article posted in partnership with Locate Finger Lakes, a Finger Lakes economic development initiative designed to assist and foster collaboration among the established Finger Lakes economic development efforts with targeted, proactive, marketing communications and networking.