UTICA, NY (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – A student won a 2-year presidential scholarship to Mohawk Valley Community College for his presentation in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) Investor Panel on Wednesday, March 29, 2023.

YEA is a national program for middle and high school students run through MVCC. Students in grades 6 to 12 from any school district can apply for the class which is offered every Wednesday night beginning in mid-October with a graduation in early May. Students create a business, write a business plan and pitch their ideas to investors to win real money.

They went on field trips, heard from guest speakers, met with one-on-one mentors and small group leaders, re-worked their logos with graphic designers and participated in CEO roundtables.

11 students presented their business plans to a panel of judges in the 11th annual YEA Investor Panel Event. They were asked to prepare a 5-minute pitch detailing their product, marketing plan, financials, and community connections.

Businesses this year included cheesecake, cookies, and cotton candy to a doggy day care, an app for middle schoolers, jewlery, a soap company and a phone accessory and more!

Shawn D. was the grand prize winner with his product, the Pocket Prop. He designed a device that can be used to prop up mobile devices. Shawn earned a 2-year presidential scholarship to Mohawk Valley Community College.

Ian Lee will represent Utica at the national competition in June 2023. He will present his business, Awesome F.O.U.R. Earth.

You can find more information on the Y.E.A. class, here.