Young Entreprenurs Academy


    Building our next generation of leaders with the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. We’re pleased to offer this inspirational program for aspiring entrepreneurs in our community. Apply now!


    About the Academy

    The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) teaches middle and high school go-getters how to start and run their own, REAL businesses.

    Celebrating the Spirit of Enterprise and Innovation

    Founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with support from the Kauffman Foundation, YEA! has helped more than
    4,000 students nationwide launch over 3,000 businesses and social movements. The Rowlett Chamber Foundation is excited to continue hosting YEA! in our community for the 2015-16 academic year.


    Make a Job—Don’t Just Take 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



    Classes Starting January 5, 2016  

    Applications accepted in December 2015.

    Send completed application forms by 12/16/2015 to secure your spot on this year's class.

    12/16/2015     Applications Deadline
    01/06/2016     Admitted Student & Parent Orientation
    01/06/2016     Weekly Classes Begin
    04/27/2016     YEA! Investor Panel
    TBD               YEA! Trade Show
    TBD               Regional Competition (if selected)
    TBD               National Competition (if selected)
    05/24/2016    Graduation


    Student Selection Process

    YEA! welcomes applications from all students in grades 6-12 who are between 11 and 18 years old. Students interested in starting their own, real business may apply for acceptance into the program by completing the 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! Students ages 11 to 18 and in grades six 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

    We offer two easy ways to apply:

    Apply online.
    Click here to print out, complete and submit your application

    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, contact Tammy Alexander at 972-965-1804 or email tammy@rowlettchamber.com.



    A big thank you to our sponsors, who have helped bring YEA! to CITY/TOWN, including:



    YEA! USA is made possible by the Kauffman Foundation, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the E. Philip Saunders Foundation. We also thank our national supporters, Sam’s Club and Southwest Airlines.


    Success Stories


    YEA! Saunders Scholar Regional Representative

    High Schoolers receive funding from Investors

    YEA! CEO Roundtable


    Click below to see why students nationwide participate in YEA!


    Watch 2015 Saunders Scholars Video
    YEA! Student Feature in Entrepreneur Magazine


    Contact Us For more infromation:


    Tammy Alexander
    Program Manager

    Diane Lemmons
    President - Rowlett Chamber of Commerce

    Carol Prano
    Vice President/Membership Services- Rowlett Chamber of Commerce







    Background on Program










    'The Rowlett Chamber Foundation is excited to continue hosting YEA! in our community!'


  • 2015-2016 Young Entrepreneur Academy Calendar

    December 2015      Applications Deadline
    01/05/2016             Student & Parent Orientation
    01/06/2016             Weekly Classes Begin
    04/27/2016             YEA! Investor Panel
    TBD                       YEA! Trade Show
    05/24/2016            Graduation
    TBD                       Regional Competition (if selected)
    TBD                      National Competition (if selected)
    05/24/2016           Graduation