YELS, the Youth Entrepreneurship, and Leadership Summit, will take place in Phoenix at Grand Canyon University on Saturday, April 7. The one-day event runs from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
YELS is a conference targeted at Generation Z (in this case, ages 12 to 19) in hopes of introducing them to innovation and leadership opportunities. The meeting includes workshops, speakers, networking and the “Rapid Pitch Battle,” the summit’s version of the ever-popular pitch competitions that are growing in Phoenix, and nationwide, startup culture.
The Rapid Pitch Battle begins before the summit – YELS asks participants to submit a 1:30-minute YouTube or Vimeo video link pitching their ides after registering. A “panel of experts” will choose five pitches as finalists, and those finalists will have three minutes and up to 11 slides to pitch their ideas live at the conference. The judges are looking for “the best and most impactful” pitch to win the competition.
YELS is organized by Rising Tycoons, an organization founded by motivational speaker and brand ambassador Olenka Cullinan. Cullinan moved to the United States from Russia in 2000, when she was 19. She knew she wanted to be an entrepreneur and helps teenagers follow in her footsteps. From this idea, she formed Rising Tycoons and continues to educate teens about becoming successful in school, business and life.
Through Rising Tycoons, Cullinan gave a talk at the TEDxYouth conference held at ASU’s Thunderbird School of Global Management in 2015. She also launched Rising Tycoons Academy, which offers after-school classes, summer programs, workshops and multi-day programs for those want more than a one-day summit like YELS.
Registration for YELS is open here until April 3. Youth tickets are $10, while “adult influencers” are free. The group passes for 10 or more youths are available for $50.