Y.E.A. Academy holds investor panel event

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You might have heard of the hit show “Shark Tank”. On Wednesday night, young minds from the Young Entrepreneurs Academy in Corning pitched their ideas to local investors.

Eight talented entrepreneurs pitched their ideas to a panel of investors with ideas ranging from macaroons and fossil pieces, to board repair and other confectionary treats. This is the 7th year the Young Entrepreneur’sAcademyy of the Corning Area Chamber of Commerce has been in operation.

The president says she is blown away each year. 

“You know, when you watch the students from the first day of class to this event, it is just this amazing transformation,” said president Denise Ackley.  “I mean come on, we know that there are adults that couldn’t even make these kinds of presentations, so now its always a mind-blowing event for us.”

All of the presenters were awarded funding, but this years winner made history. Dennis Jacobs is just a junior in high school and on Wednesday, he was awarded $3,000 to fund his “B-Air” shoe idea.

It’s an inflatable sole that’s powered by an app in your shoe. As someone who has flat feet, its been on Dennis’ mind for a while, but winning the ultimate prize was surreal.

“It was kind of a surreal feeling I guess,” Jacobs said.  ” I mean it wasn’t really about the winning part. It was about going up there and having the investors recognize my idea as valid, it was really special to me. Especially getting all of the $3000 I asked for, which I really didn’t expect to come. I’m happy that the investors liked my idea, and that’s the main part.”

Jacobs was awarded the top prize under one condition, should his idea be licensed out to a larger corperation, he will give back to the academy.

To learn about the YEA Academy, click here

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