What is YEA!?

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy is a year long academic academy hosted by the Visalia Chamber of Commerce which teaches core entrepreneurial skills to middle and high school students. Any student who has ever wanted to start or run their own business will take the steps necessary to launch a small business while participating in hands on learning experiences in the YEA! program. 

Students participating in YEA! will: 

  • Brainstorm ideas
  • Write a business plan
  • Pitch their business to local investors
  • Receive start-up funding
  • File DBA paperwork
  • Participate in a Tradeshow to launch their business

Students will interact with local entrepreneurs and business leaders through guest lectures, field trips, mentors, panelists, and judges.


Local Students Earn More than $3,500 to Launch New Businesses

Student Finalist Named in National Scholarship Competition

The Visalia Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is excited to announce the results of the 2017 Investor Panel. Students met with local Investors the last week of March and gave 5 minute business pitches including research and information regarding; target markets, marketing plans, market trends, start-up costs, monthly & yearly sales projections and as well as financing strategies.

Aeryal’s is a vegan food business that focuses on the health and wellness of others.  The business offers snacks and treats that are both delicious and nutritious.  

Kalifornia Kisses is an all natural and organic lipstick company. KK reflects California itself. Each lipstick color represents a different part of California. KK is the healthy choice for lipstick and has no chemicals in it at all. KK is a creative, fun, and unique way to let girls express themselves while contributing to environmental causes.

Unknown Apparel creates T-shirts with high quality, fit, and style, at an affordable price. The company focuses on young adults and plans to donate funds to support those that are bullied, mistreated, and made fun of for what they wear. To support this cause Unknown Apparel will be donating 10% of their profit to a local anti-bullying program.

VESPR Goods is a backpack company that operates in Tulare CA and has found a solution for track athletes whose cleats tear their bags and don't provide the water protection for the individual's belongings.

Slingshot is a website whose purpose is to help connect high school job seekers with local employers. Students can get resume building tips and upload completed resumes for employers to review.

The 5 YEA! student businesses earned a combined total of $3,600 in start-up funding during the 2017 Investor Panel. The investors also choose the student business that will represent Visalia at the Saunders Scholars competition; Aeryal Semana a senior at Tulare Western high school will be representing the Visalia YEA! program.


Meet the 2016/2017 YEA! Class

Aeryal Semana - Alekhya Rajasekaran - Esteban Olivaras - Rigoberto Villa

Victor Rodriquez - Zephaniah Serna


Thank You to our 2016-2017 Sponsors


Thank You to our Local Partners