YEA! Program ParticipantWesterville, OH—Otterbein University is the new host site for the national Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) Columbus. The YEA! program develops the next generation of innovators, business leaders and community organizers; fosters the entrepreneurial spirit of America’s youth; and encourages business ownership as a viable career path. It not only educates middle and high school students on how to conceive, launch and run a business enterprise or social movement, but also gives them valuable life skills.  Participants develop competencies in areas such as problem solving, public speaking, strategic planning, and organization.

Participants meet weekly from November through May.


Through this program, students will:

  • Brainstorm business ideas
  • Write a business plan
  • Interact with business professionals
  • Pitch their business plan to potential “investors” (think ABC’s “Shark Tank”!)
  • Obtain funding
  • Legally register their businesses
  • Participate in a Trade Show
  • Actually launch their own businesses or social movements


The program offers students the chance to:

  • Develop the skills necessary to launch their own business or social movement (hands-on entrepreneurial experience!)
  • Learn about real businesses – why they succeed or fail.
  • Hear from local entrepreneurs.
  • Launch their own business or social movement!
  • Become more confident in their ideas and their abilities.


YEA! Program CEO GroupYEA! is a national program launched in 2004, resulting in more than 100 businesses to date, over half of which students have continued after graduation. The 2017 YEA! class of future entrepreneurs has been selected and we are now accepting pre-applications (via online application) for the 2018 Young Entrepreneurs Academy class located at The Point at Otterbein University. After submitting a pre-application, you will be contacted to confirm your interest.


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