YEA! Young Entrepreneurs Academy

YEA! Young Entrepreneurs Academy

For more information, please contact Angela Barbosa

(765) 642-0264 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Nominate a Enterprising Student for YEA!



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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 Madison County Chamber and host location Purdue University College of Technology, Anderson are excited to introduce YEA! to our community with its inaugural class for the 2015-16 academic year.

MCC's partner in the YEA! program, Purdue University College of Technology, Anderson, will host the 2015 class in its Anderson location at 2705 Enterprise Drive.

Purdue Polytechnic Institute AndersonYEA! and Purdue area natural fit with the university's emphasis on entrepreneurship. ”The YEA! program aligns well with our mission at the College of Technology,” says director Corey Sharp. “We are encouraging our students to be more innovative and entrepreneurial and YEA! will cultivate that mindset for the next generation.”

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

2016-2017 Calendar

YEA! classes meet November through May on Wednesday evenings from 4-7pm, except for holidays and most school breaks.

Early Acceptance Deadline:  July 31, 2016

Final Application Deadline:  September 30, 2016

Student Selection Process

YEA! welcomes applications from all middle school and high school students 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 seven 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:

  1. Apply online
  2. Print out, complete, and submit your application. CLICK HERE to download application.
  3. PLEASE NOTE: Application Deadline is September 30, 2016

Nominate a Student

We’re searching for ambitious, creative, talented and motivated middle and high school students who are excited to learn how to transform a passion and an idea into a REAL business over the course of an academic year. To nominate a student to apply for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy Class of 2015, please email the student's Name, School, Grade, Email address and Telephone number to YEA! Program Manager Angela Barbosa at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Are you a business leader and know a student who might be interested in starting his or her own business? Nominate them today! CLICK HERE to download the student nomination form!

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 Angela Barbosa at (765) 642-0264 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


A big thank you to our sponsors, who have helped bring YEA! to Madison County, including:






Gaither Family Resource Center Ricker Oil Company

Community Hospital Anderson Hoosier Park Racing & Casino St.Vincent Anderson Regional Hospital



Harrison College YEA! Supporting Sponsor Carter Express


If you are interested in becoming involved with YEA! as a mentor, guest speaker, field trip host, or volunteer, contact Angela Barbosa at (765) 642-0264 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Success Stories

Brandon Boynton, CEO, MostBeastlyStudios LLC, Pendleton, Indiana

A 2014 graduate of YEA! Madison County, an incoming Senior at Pendleton Heights High School, and a member of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce Board, 17-year-old Brandon Boynton was a finalist at the YEA! National Saunders Competition last year. A self-taught iOS app developer prior to YEA!, he officially launched is business, MostBeastlyStudios LLC, and developed his featured app, The BullyBox, through the YEA! program. Brandon has received numerous accolades in his short career, including a full scholarship to Apple's 2014 World Wide Developers Conference. He was also the winner of the US Congress 5th District STEM Competition and garnered considerable international media recognition. He was recently the youngest person ever nominated for a prestigious TechPoint "Rising Star" Mira Award. Brandon is the owner of The BullyBox, as well as an assortment of other apps that embody his company's slogan "Apps that make a difference."

Derek Sikorski, CEO, PestAway Candles, Pendleton, Indiana

Derek Sikorski founded PestAway Candles in 2014 with the help of Young Entrepreneurs Academy of Madison County when he was only 13 years old! Before starting YEA!, Derek was so interested in consignment and salvage stores that he began buying and reselling unique items on his own website. After a fieldtrip to Anderson Innovation Center, Derek decided that, instead of selling other people’s merchandise, he would like to create products of his own! PestAway Candles produces gel-based candles in a variety of scents that each repel a different type of pest. Derek continues to sell his candles on his site and also makes appearances at local trade shows around the Madison County area.

Lauren Lewis, CEO, LuLu’s Suds’N’Such, Pendleton, Indiana

Lauren Lewis, a recent graduate of Pendleton Heights High School, won the 2015 Madison County Investor Panel with her business, LuLu’s Suds’N’Such. LuLu’s hand-crafts and sells goat’s milk soaps made from milk from Lauren’s own herd of Miniature LaMancha goats and using natural and often organic ingredients. Lauren got the idea for her business from her love of animals coupled with her passion for sustainable and environmentally friendly farming initiatives. Winning the local Investor Panel allowed Lauren to travel to Boca Raton, Florida, to participate in the YEA! Regional Investor Panel. In Florida, Lauren successfully sold out of her products and returned home to huge demand generated by the local YEA! Trade Show. She is currently selling her luxury soap at farmers markets and local shops around the Madison County area and hopes to expand her product line to include cosmetics such as lotions and lip balms in the near future.

Angela Richie, CEO, Elizabeth & Jane, Anderson, Indiana

Elizabeth & Jane was founded by recent Anderson High School graduate, Angela Richie. Angela was a participant in the 2015 YEA! class and used the experience to grow her online store into a full-blown business. Her interest for knitting, fashion, and her feline friends helped her to develop her business idea of “knitted goods for pets and their stylish owners.” Angela knits her own products, which include a cowl and ear warmer set for ladies coupled with coordinating kitty cowls to allow both pet and owner to snuggle up in style. There is also an option on her site to purchase human-only merchandise, including cowls, scarves, and mittens. Elizabeth & Jane products have been featured at local business events in Madison County and Angela is excited to announce that her products will also be appearing in the October/November issue of Catster Magazine.

Justin Sayre, CEO, Sayre Lawn & Snow, Alexandria, Indiana

Justin Sayre had been mowing lawns for friends and family for several years in his hometown of Alexandria, Indiana when he decided he wanted to expand his services to create a well-rounded business in 2015. With the help of YEA! Madison County, Justin was able to grow Sayre Lawn & Snow. He now has the business know-how, equiptment, and advertising capacity to continue to grow and nurture his business. Justin has implemented annual contracts and even offers referral discounts to his costumers. Sayre Lawn & Snow is focused on customer satisfaction and enjoys freeing up the time of its costumers so the business can “allow the client to have fun doing what they love so we can do what we love”.

Mackenzie Boone, CEO, Sew Beyond, Pendleton, Indiana

Mackenzie Boone is proud of her company, Sew Beyond, for being more than just a business, but a way of life. Her fashionable and affordable scarves come with the aspiration for every woman to embrace their inner beauty and feel empowered.  Mackenzie used the 2015 YEA! program to transform her hobby of sewing into a full-functioning business of uniquely designed infinity scarves with practical features such as reversible designs and zipper pockets. She has begun selling her scarves in local salons, boutiques, and stores with plans to continue expanding her number of retailers so she can keep spreading her positive message.

Rasauhn Tatum, CEO, Ratpack Entertainment, Anderson, Indiana


Rashaun Tatum, a YEA! 2015 graduate, used his love of world cultures to help him create Ratpack Entertainment. His company specializes in producing “mini video game applications” that can be integrated into websites and used as fun, interactive learning tools to teach viewers about a place, company, or event. Rashaun’s hometown of Anderson, Indiana is celebrating the town’s Sesquicentennial in late summer 2015. Ratpack Entertainment has teamed up with the City of Anderson to create a mini game called “Chief Anderson Making a Noise” that will educate citizens about the city’s rich history to help promote this special event. Rashaun is anxious to launch his game and hopes it will be the first of many mini games produced by Ratpack Entertainment!

Contact Us

For more information, call (765)642-0264 or email Angela Barbosa at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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