The Entrepreneurship Academy is an innovative approach to economic development focusing on young, emerging human capital which will connect talented students with local businesses, professional networking contacts and educational institutions. The program provides local high school seniors with a unique, year-long, immersive experience to develop leadership and entrepreneurial skills as well as confidence to be successful in an ever-changing, global economy.

Building Relationships

The students are supported by a large network of regional experts, business owners, and CEOs including over 15 guest speakers and 10 site visits to area businesses. Not all of the eAcademy students may end up owning a business, but they will all become exemplary employees equipped with 21st century skills including: leading by influence, taking initiative, creatively solving problems, analyzing information, managing time and resources, communicating effectively, incorporating soft skills, collaborating with diverse personalities and knowing that everyone has value to offer in the workplace.

Building Community

The eAcademy strives to empower the youth to succeed here in the Shenango Valley, to expose them to new opportunities, to build next generation leaders and retain young entrepreneurs and business minded professionals in the community. In addition to building relationships with our guest speakers and local area businesses, students will engage in ongoing local community service projects and volunteer opportunities as well as networking events with eAcademy alumni. This program is an important stakeholder in a collaborative partnership that includes two counties, twelve school districts, a local community college, and a business incubator.

Building Businesses

eAcademy students launch businesses. This is not a school project. This is not a paper that they write and never read again. This is real, this is tangible, and this is life changing!
During their year in our program, high school seniors are placed in small groups with complementary skill sets. The groups then journey through the process of starting a business. Together, they create a prototype using additive manufacturing, complete a business canvas, write a lean startup business plan, participate in pitch events and present their businesses to funders, investors and business incubators. Students will understand not only how to develop a viable product or service, but how to effectively bring it to market.

two young girls with helmets on

About the eAcademy

The Entrepreneurship Academy in Hermitage has been named one of Pennsylvania’s top economic-development programs for its ongoing work in connecting talented area high-school students with business leaders and educational institutions.

Launched in 2014, the eAcademy spurs economic development in the region through innovation, entrepreneurship, and next generation career opportunities.

Student Testimonials

We are very proud of our eAcademy students. Hear what these young entrepreneurs have to say about their educational experience in the eAcademy program.
``Ms. Katie provides students key life and career skills. Not only that, the eAcademy helps students form teams and work on a business idea together. We have several schools participate so we’re always interacting with and getting to know new people. We receive real world experiences that will help us be successful in the future.”

Elias Eckles

Class of 2022, Sharpsville High School

“We do a lot of public speaking at the eAcademy and I think that is a life skill that everyone should practice. It is the number one fear in Americans, so practicing it forces us to step out of our comfort zone with the encouragement of our teacher and our peers within a safe classroom environment. In high school, we have to do public speaking assignments in our LA class. Usually, I would be scared, but because we practice it at the eAcademy, I am much more comfortable doing it.”
emilee matthews

Emilee Matthews

Class of 2022, Hickory High School

“I like how we are guided through how to figure out what we do best and how to use those skills to add value in the classroom and in the workplace. I have gained skills here that I will continue to use my whole life. I have learned so much about my workplace personality and how I can motivate myself to be successful.”
jake allen

Jake Allen

Class of 2022, Sharpsville High School

“I think it is very beneficial when we go on field trips. It is very useful hearing successful entrepreneurs talk and explain how they got to where they are today. We toured local businesses in the downtown Sharon area and we got to hear first-hand from business owners how they needed an entrepreneurial mindset to successfully get started.”
grace cataloni

Grace Cataloni

Class of 2022, Hickory High School

“The eAcademy program is very engaging and I am grateful to have learned both leadership skills and life skills before heading to college after high school graduation.”
jett leipheimer

Jett Leipheimer

Class of 2022, Hickory High School

“The eAcademy teaches you how to take the steps necessary to plan a successful startup business. I enjoy practicing my entrepreneurial skills within my small group as we create our own business plan.”
braden davidson

Braden Davidson

Class of 2022, Hickory High School

“The field trips at the eAcademy are not just fun, they are thought-provoking and informative. We gain knowledge from real world experiences right here in our own community.”
ethan cusick

Ethan Cusick

Class of 2022, Sharpsville High School

“The eAcademy allowed me to expand my skill set to carry forward into my professional career.”
brianna dzurisko, eacademy student

Brianna Dzuricsko

Class of 2015, Hickory High School

“You walk into a room filled with strangers as a dependent high school student. You walk out of the room with a new family as an independent adult.”
lindsey polanek

Lindsey Polanek

Class of 2016, Commodore Perry High School

“This program within one week has shown me how to meet new people, learn adaptation skills quicker than high school, and build friendships that can last a lifetime.”
jaylin archie

Jaylin Archie

Class of 2015, Farrell High School

“I knew my mindset was changing when I was eating cereal for breakfast in the morning and thought of 15 different ways to make my experience better. This is a great opportunity and I am more than happy to be a part of it.”
zack smigel, eacademy student

Zachary Smigel

Class of 2015, Hickory High School

commodore perry high school
farrell high school
greenville high school
grove city high school
hickory high school
kennedy catholic high school
mercer area high school
harpsville high school
sharon high school
union area high school
west middlesex high school
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