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Young Entrepreneurs Academy Investor Panel

March 14, 2022

We are proud to continue our support of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA). As an organization with our roots in education, it is important to us that we support local, young, creative minds however we can. Not only do we provide funding for the program, we have also had employees on the Investor Panel for the last 10 years, providing real world business experience and financial expertise with budding entrepreneurs.

The students in the program, who are in grades 6-12, work for several months building a business from the ground up including creating a business plan, branding their product or service, and working with professional mentors to create a full and cohesive business model. They then present to the investor panel in a Shark Tank-style event where the students can win real startup money for their business! One student is chosen to represent Utica and compete against young entrepreneurs from around the country at the National Saunders Scholars Competition for a chance to win scholarships and other prizes.

JD Arrante, Business Services Manager; and Sue Pope, New Hartford Branch Manager will be representing  First Source on the Investor Panel again this year. The students are very excited to be able to present their concepts in person. The past 2 years have been virtual. As well, this event is open to the public. If you are interested in observing this year’s presentations, the panel will be held at the thINCubator, 326 Broad St, Utica on March 30th from 5:00-7:30pm.

YEA is a program that helps local middle and high school students develop a business and become entrepreneurs. Not only does YEA give students the tools to start a successful business, it also fosters confidence and creativity, among other useful real world problem solving skills. To learn more about the YEA program, visit their page on the MVCC website here. Applications for the 2022/2023 cohort will be available this summer.


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