Young Entrepreneur Academy
Hosted by the Elkhart Chamber of Commerce
In May of 2016 I learned of a presentation made by students to local Investors needing funding for their creative ideas. The students had businesses of their own, from a T-Shirt printing Company who gives money for cancer research to a Grocery Delivery Service for home bound people.
I invited two young men that I know, ages 14 and 15 who run their own business of selling candy on the school bus. These two each made any where from $50 to $100 a week for their efforts. After the presentation I asked them if they would like to join the YEA program, with their parents permission, of course. For one of the boys it meant he had to bring his grades up in order to be eligible. I am paying for both of their tuition's and am picking them up every week and taking them home afterward. Both of them live about 40 miles away from me.
All the way home they talked about how cool it was these peers got up in front of investors and pitched their businesses.
The Investors were only allowed to ask three questions and when all the presentations were done, the Investors went in to another room where they made their selections and the amount they were donating to each of them.
Nate and Matt have been to orientation and three classes so far, plus one field trip to Ethos Science Center in Elkhart.
Orientation let them know which door they were to enter and exit from, received their class notebooks and answered any question parents had.
The first night of class each student got to talk about their idea for a business and they received feedback from the other kids and the class instructor.
Week two they started working on their business plans
Week three was the field-trip to Ethos Science Center where they were exposed to robots and they learn about science.
I am paying in forward in the lives of two young men who will be business owners rather than working for someone else, right out of high school. Oh, by the way, it is the first time their school has been represented at YEA and they are the only two students from their high school.
The winner of our local program has the opportunity to compete with other YEA students across the country and that winner will then go on to Washington DC