The AEA, Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy will bring together 26 rising high school seniors from all over Appalachia to work and learn alongside top entrepreneurs, startups, and businesses leading innovation in the region through a four-week, all expenses paid, immersive experience in Pittsburgh, PA.  You will team up with other students to develop a business idea or innovation and at the end of the 4 weeks your team will present it to a panel of  judges and investors in a pitch competition for a chance to win $1k! July 6-31, 2020

Who can apply?  We invite rising high school seniors in the Appalachia region to apply.

APPLY BY March 31, 2020 to be considered!

The AEA experience will expose you to leading entrepreneurs, innovative startups and forward thinking businesses located in the Pittsburgh area and also have global impact.  We will provide training and hands-on creator experiences with a focus on innovation, design thinking, and lean startup approaches to problem solving. With the support of AEA instructors, mentors, and coaches, teams will develop innovative business solutions, a plan to market their ideas, and a pitch presentation for various audiences.

Each student will also receive:

  • Transportation to, from, and within Pittsburgh
  • Full room and board, including meals
  • All related activities paid, including extracurricular activities
  • Paid work experience and job shadowing; a stipend of $600
  • Mentoring and coaching, including career exploration
  • Networking & access to entrepreneurial resources
  • Ongoing support and additional training for 1 year after the program
  • …and a month of a lot of FUN with like-minded students from all over Appalachia !!

The application is short and requires uploads: a video or presentation, and a letter of recommendation.  Be sure to read page 2 completely to learn about requirements and file types for each.

Please contact aea@iel.org for additional questions.  Thank you and best wishes!

Gwendolyn Rodriguez, AEA Director

Apply here

Informational Webinars: 2/26 & 3/3

Please forward this invite to students and parents/guardians interested in learning more about 2020’s Inaugural Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy program.

Two live webinars are scheduled before the application deadline:

February 26, 2020 at 8PM Eastern Time

AEA2020 Live Q&A Session

  • Feb 26, 2020 08:00 PM Eastern Time
  • Mar 3, 2020 01:00 PM Eastern Time

Access via:

  • Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/569792588 Meeting ID: 569 792 588;
  • One tap mobile: +19294362866,,569792588#
  • Phone: 929 436 2866 or 669 900 6833, Meeting ID: 569 792 588