On Thursday, April 18, eight local students ages 11 to 19 will take the stage at Mohawk Valley Community College to pitch entrepreneurial plans to prominent local business leaders. The event is a centerpiece of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) at MVCC and is free and open to the public. There will be a reception at 4:30 p.m. and business presentations will begin at 5 p.m. in the Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield Training and Conference Center, Room 225 of the Information Technology building on the Utica campus.
During the inaugural YEA! Investor Panel, leaders from Beebe Construction, Mohawk Limited, First Source Federal Credit Union, M&T Bank, and the Mohawk Valley Chamber of Commerce will determine which students’ businesses or social movements are most worthy of funding, and will determine funds to be allocated. MVCC Admissions Specialist and local radio personality Kenny “the Promo Guy” Morrison will emcee the event. The students, all of whom are in grades 6-12 at local schools, will interact with business experts in a lively, interactive setting as they unveil their ideas publicly for the first time. The Investor Panel is an annual culminating event of the YEA! program, which delivers entrepreneurship education to local students and results in student business ideas being funded. Funding and guidance, which are contributed by sponsors represented on the Investor Panel, enable winning students to start up actual enterprises or social movements.
MVCC launched its YEA! program in Fall 2012, providing groundbreaking educational services and inspiration to students in the process of starting and running real businesses over the course of a full academic year. Students work in close cooperation with local leaders of industry, community members, and educators to develop ideas and objectives, write business plans, pitch potential investors, obtain funding, register with governmental agencies, and develop their brand identity. By the end of the class, students own and operate fully functioning businesses that can be carried on after graduation. According to YEA, “Students learn to make a job—not just take a job! YEA!’s direct mission is to help students embrace their passion, energy, creativity and talents, launch a venture, and view entrepreneurship as synonymous with success and freedom.”
The YEA! Investor Panel is part of an Evening of Entrepreneurship, highlighting MVCC’s increasing focus on helping local people start and succeed in small business and entrepreneurial ventures. In addition to the Investor Panel, the evening of April 18 will include “Entrepreneurship in the Classroom: From Ideation to Reality,” an interactive lecture with entrepreneurship expert John Liddy. Liddy, Entrepreneur in Residence at MVCC, Syracuse University and Le Moyne College and director of the Syracuse Student Sandbox, will speak at 7 p.m. also in IT 225. He will discuss how to connect the lines of communication between campuses and the business community to contribute to the climate for startup businesses. Liddy’s presentation is also free and open to the public in the Schafer Theater.
For more information contact Carolyn DeJohn at firstname.lastname@example.org or (315) 792-5410.