WESTFIELD, NJ — Local students participating in the Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) had an opportunity to learn from successful business people Wednesday at a CEO roundtable.

“It was inspiring to see middle and high school students who want to be entrepreneurs and are actively learning about entrepreneurship at such a young age,” said roundtable participant Michael Shapiro, CEO of TAPinto.net. “I really enjoyed speaking with the students and learning about their business ideas and projects."

In addition to Shapiro, CEOs James Ward of James Ward Mansion, Nirupama Mallavarupu of MobileArq, Ropelski of &Grain, Donna Del Guercio of BellaDonnas’ Yarn and Gary Patti of Gold Medal Gym shared their advice and stories of failures, successes and obstacles overcome.

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YEA! is a program that helps local middle and high school students become real entrepreneurs. During the course of the nine-month program, more than 20 local businesses become involved with YEA! at various levels. Students in grades 6-12 generate business ideas, conduct market research, write business plans and pitch to a panel of investors. Over the course of this year, 14 students will launch 10 companies.

To learn more, visit www.westfieldareachamber.com, call 908-233-3021 or email programmgr@yeawestfield.org.