Forbes

YEC is America's most elite
entrepreneur organization

Do I qualify to join?

YEC is at the center of your entrepreneurial life. We provide entrepreneurs with the resources and social capital they need to succeed.

We connect the world’s most successful entrepreneurs so they can grow their businesses faster, while giving back to aspiring entrepreneurs through our virtual mentorship program StartupCollective.

Our membership is comprised of many of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs that are 40 and younger. Members generate billions of dollars in revenue and have created tens of thousands of jobs.

Our Work Has Been Honored By Nasdaq And The White House – And Recognized In Media Outlets Worldwide

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YEC Consists Of Some Of The Most Well-Respected Minds In Entrepreneurship.

...Here’s Why

YEC members, who are carefully vetted by existing members, get access to a variety of curated benefits, including a dedicated community management team to facilitate introductions and connections, members-only forums for 24/7 peer-to-peer support, a professional editorial team for press opportunities, and in-person events. New products, partnerships and services are rolled out regularly.

"YEC has been an invaluable resource for PR opportunities. Some startups pay tens of thousands of dollars for this kind of exposure."

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Ryan-Holmes

Ryan Holmes

CEO of HOOTSUITE

"YEC has become the foundation of my entrepreneurial life. I can't go to sleep without checking how I can give and receive help."

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shradha-agarwal

Shradha Agarwal

CO-FOUNDER of CONTEXTMEDIA

"During this past year, I connected with a YEC member in Los Angeles who I ended up starting a new arm of my business with."

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Jake-Nickell

Jake Nickell

FOUNDER AND CEO of THREADLESS

Read more about the Benefits of Membership:

  • A Trusted Community
  • Exclusive Brand-Building
    & PR Opportunities
  • Access To Business Tools
    And Resources
  • High-Touch Support
  • Opportunity To Empower
    Other Entrepreneurs
  • Educational Opportunities
    For You & Your Team
A Trusted Community

The YEC is a highly selective, invite-only group of likeminded peers from nearly every industry. YEC members enjoy a variety of curated, concierge-level benefits, including:

  • Dedicated member concierge team to facilitate warm introductions and connections
  • 24/7 peer-to-peer support via private community forums
  • Members-only dashboard and private network
  • In-person lunches, dinners and events in YEC chapters and at select conferences or trade shows — open to local members AND any members passing through!

"It was pretty awesome to fly into NYC from Chicago and go immediately to a meetup where I met seven other young founders of startups."

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mike-mcgee

Mike McGee

CO-FOUNDER of THE STARTER LEAGUE

Exclusive Brand-Building
& PR Opportunities

Our dedicated editorial team helps members leverage — and get published in — dozens of our media partners, including the most recognizable business publications such as Forbes, Inc., Yahoo!, ReadWrite, The Huffington Post, VentureBeat, FastCompany, The Washington Post, Mashable, Fox Business and dozens more. With our editorial and community team’s help, YEC members get:

  • Quick-and-easy press mentions through our “Q&A”-style advice columns
  • Major media exposure via their own how-to, tips-based AND op-ed articles
  • Social media promotion via YEC social channels
  • Multiple interview and article/blog syndication opportunities
  • Hands-on help refining and editing content.

"Being a YEC member rocks. Whenever I'm quoted in the press (through YEC media opportunities) we track a measurable bump in conversions and registrations."

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Danny-Boice

Danny Boice

CO-FOUNDER AND CTO of SPEEK

Access To Business Tools
And Resources

One of the biggest advantages YEC members have is the ability to get advice, deals, discounts and peer-to-peer support anytime, anywhere via our members-only dashboard and online community forums. Get access to business development resources like:

  • A complimentary FoundersCard membership
  • Regional and community-wide forums for 24/7 peer-to-peer support
  • Exclusive discounts on business products and services such as YEC Virtual Assistants and Bookkeeping.

"YEC has been an invaluable resource for PR opportunities. Some startups pay tens of thousands of dollars for this kind of exposure."

More Testimonials
Ryan-Holmes

Ryan Holmes

CEO of HOOTSUITE

High-Touch Support

Community management is our top priority. Members can count on the YEC team for concierge-like service, around the clock. Our core team includes:

  • A dedicated Member Concierge
  • Professional editorial services
  • Top-notch community management.

Our goal is to provide every single member with a unique, personalized experience that helps them grow their networks — and their businesses.

"YEC has become the foundation of my entrepreneurial life. I can't go to sleep without checking how I can give and receive help."

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shradha-agarwal

Shradha Agarwal

CO-FOUNDER of CONTEXTMEDIA

Opportunity To Empower
Other Entrepreneurs

We’re passionate about improving the startup ecosystem and helping aspiring entrepreneurs succeed, grow and give back. YEC offers its members multiple ways to nurture the startup ecosystem (while maximizing their limited time) through StartupCollective, a virtual mentorship program fueled by YEC’s collective brainpower.

YEC members empower other entrepreneurs in several ways:

  • Conduct live video chats with thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs from around the world
  • Participate in, teach or speak at on-the-ground and virtual mentorship events with nonprofit partners like Junior Achievement
  • Produce content for StartupCollective training materials.

"I would not be where I am today without the guidance of mentors, so I was thrilled that YEC gave me the chance to share advice with other entrepreneurs."

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Jennifer-Fleiss

Jennifer Fleiss

CO-FOUNDER AND HEAD OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT of RENT THE RUNWAY

Educational Opportunities
For You & Your Team

In partnership with 2U, YEC members have access to scholarship opportunities to online degree programs from top-tier universities like UC Berkeley and UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.

  • 2U partners with top-ranked colleges and universities to deliver the world’s best online graduate education programs.
  • The Master of Information and Data Science from the UC Berkeley School of Information is an online degree program for professionals looking to become leaders in the field of data science.
  • The online MBA@UNC gives ambitious working professionals from anywhere in the world the opportunity to earn an MBA from UNC Kenan-Flagler, a top-ranked U.S. business school.

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YEC Is A Highly Selective, Quality-Over-Quantity Organization.

After an application is filled out, our member selection committee uses a combination of qualitative and quantitative information about a candidate’s business to decide if they are eligible for membership.

YEC is a vetted democracy, in which current members vote on all new members. We don’t share every detail of the selection process, but certain core criteria are explained below.

  • founders &
    business owners
  • high-growth
    businesses
  • awards &
    recognition
  • community
    impact
  • social
    influence

founders &
business owners

In order to qualify for YEC membership, the candidate must be an entrepreneur (under 40 at the time of application) on the founding team of an existing business venture – or past business venture that they have successfully exited from.

high-growth
businesses

We look for businesses with accelerating revenue models and a plan for sustainability or a profitable exit. The typical YEC candidate has either a minimum of $1M annual revenue and/or has secured a minimum of $1M in financing for their current venture(s).

awards &
recognition

We look for founders whose success in a given industry has been recognized by reputable organizations (e.g., Inc. 30 Under 30, Forbes 30 Under 30, Crains 40 Under 40, Business Journals 40 Under 40, Entrepreneur 30 Under 30, et al.).

community
impact

We want our members to be as passionate about giving back to the entrepreneurship ecosystem as we are. We seek out members who have exemplified true leadership in the startup community by giving back through volunteering, investing, donating and mentoring.

social
influence

We look for members who are widely recognized as the thought leaders in their respective industries and look at various contributions each candidate has made online and offline to the larger entrepreneurship brain trust.

YEC Was Created By Entrepreneurs For Entrepreneurs. This Is Our Story.

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Today, Scott Gerber is a serial entrepreneur, internationally syndicated business columnist, author (Never Get a “Real” Job) and TV commentator.

But early in his entrepreneurial career, as a college student, he found himself making “every possible mistake one could make as a rookie entrepreneur” – which led to the failure of his first business.

At that moment, he made a promise to himself: if he ever succeeded in the future, he would work to ensure that no young entrepreneur ever felt alone or struggled without the proper resources again.

Gerber knew he needed candid advice and support from his fellow Gen Y entrepreneurs who’d been there, done that.

Nearly a decade later, with several successful businesses in tow, he realized his vision with the first version of YEC: an informal brain trust of like-minded peers who wanted to help each other’s businesses grow, while also supporting the millions of aspiring young entrepreneurs just getting started.

“We want to assemble the best of the best.”

From the start, the YEC was an invitation-only forum to exchange ideas and resources, make high-value connections and provide needed mentorship.

When Gerber met Ryan Paugh — Brazen Careerist co-founder and “something of a cult legend in the online community-building world” — they began building out the YEC community on a larger scale.

A few short years later, “the most elite entrepreneurship organization in America” — to date, the invite-only organization has accepted less than 10 percent of the over 14,000 applications — is helping disrupt business mentorship and the professional business organization model as we know it.

Paying it forward while supporting each other’s growth is integral to YEC’s mission to empower young entrepreneurs, who, across the board, believe that doing well and doing good are not mutually exclusive — nor should they be.

To that end, the YEC has led various public campaigns to improve access to and policy around entrepreneurship, from the FixYoungAmerica grassroots campaign to the Youth Entrepreneurship Act and, most recently, the launch of StartupCollective, a virtual mentorship program (in partnership with Citi) that helps millions of aspiring and current entrepreneurs launch and grow new businesses.

“Everything we do at the YEC is meant to fulfill a social need and promote free enterprise at the same time, while also curating meaningful connections among our generation’s most successful entrepreneurs,” says Gerber.

“If we can create a series of mentorship programs for aspiring entrepreneurs, and unprecedented access to high-level resources and connections for our elite members at the same time, then we’ve achieved something very powerful.”

Read our story...