The future of entrepreneurship

YEC members are part of a trusted, invite-only community that elevates their business with concierge-level support.

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.


Live chats with successful entrepreneurs,
thousands of how-to articles, videos,
and eBooks.

Join Startup Collective

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


YEC Is America's Most Elite Entrepreneur Organization

Our Members Include:

...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."


Ryan Holmes


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


Shradha Agarwal


"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."


Jake Nickell


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

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."


Mike McGee


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."


Danny Boice


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."


Ryan Holmes


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."


Shradha Agarwal


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."


Jennifer Fleiss


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.

Do I Qualify For

founders &
business owners


awards &



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.


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 &

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.).


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.


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.


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...

meet our team

Meet Our Chapter Leaders



Scott Gerber

Founder & CEO

Scott Gerber is a serial entrepreneur, internationally syndicated business columnist, author (Never Get a “Real” Job) and TV commentator. Fast Company recently recognized him as a “superconnector” and the “Pandora of Gen-Y networking.”



Ryan Paugh

Co-Founder and COO

Ryan Paugh was named a “cult legend in community-building world” by Mashable and a “Gen Y employment champion” by Fortune. He has helped thousands of young professionals and entrepreneurs in their career pursuits. Prior to YEC, he co-founded Brazen Careerist.



Lindsey Donner

Executive Editor

Lindsey Donner has 10 years of experience in journalism, web publishing, content marketing and copywriting. Prior to YEC, she co-founded Well Versed Creative, an agency offering custom graphic design, copywriting and editing services to clients around the globe.



Bob Calise


Bob Calise has 15 years of experience building for the web. Prior to YEC, he founded Mediajitsu, a technology consultancy with a focus on marketing automation, advanced strategy and Infusionsoft API development. He has Developed marketing systems that generated $10+ million in increased revenues for clients.



Morgan Brady

Program Director

A self described “people person,” Morgan is a community-management professional passionate about connecting awesome individuals to build their businesses and enrich their lives. Originally from New York, she previously ran marketing and events for multiple startups and small businesses.



Janey Zitomer

Associate Editor

Janey Zitomer graduated from Brandeis University, where she studied journalism. Prior to YEC, she gained experience in her field working at various magazines, newspapers and startups.

Bethany Kwoka YEC


Bethany Kwoka

Associate Editor

Bethany Kwoka is an experienced editor with a passion for helping members craft their brand story. Prior to YEC, Bethany worked as a copywriter and publicist in B2B PR with businesses ranging from technical to travel.



Jeff Gabel

Community Manager

Jeff Gabel is a community connector at heart with a passion for helping members build new relationships and conquer their business goals. Prior to YEC, Jeff worked in the nonprofit sector, developing strong communities for young adults in Boston.



Stephanie Giron

Executive Assistant

Stephanie Giron is responsible for supporting the YEC leadership team, from scheduling to managing internal reports. She is highly organized and detail-oriented, which makes her an invaluable asset to the entire staff.



Maria Marroquin

Editorial Assistant

Maria Marroquin is responsible for publishing YEC member content for the Editorial Department in major media outlets around the web. She is the genius who takes YEC content from the end of the editorial process all the way to publication. She also supports the Editorial Department in day-to-day activities and metrics reporting.



Rogers Sampaio


Rogers Sampaio has years of experience with WordPress, custom CMS, database management, PHP development, and mobile applications. He is also the co-founder of Allur, a creative group focused on illustration, web design, and development.



Elisa Chavez

Member Concierge

Elisa Chavez is a Member Concierge and responsible for collecting information about YEC members and their businesses. The information she collects helps the entire YEC team get members involved in the opportunities and services that are most valuable to them.



Celesthe Ruano

Member Concierge

Celesthe Ruano is a Member Concierge and responsible for collecting information about YEC members and their businesses. The information she collects helps the entire YEC team get members involved in the opportunities and services that are most valuable to them.



Kiri Herrera

Member Concierge

Kiri Herrera is a Member Concierge and responsible for collecting information about YEC members and their businesses. The information she collects helps the entire YEC team get members involved in the opportunities and services that are most valuable to them.


Dev Arora

Arjun Dev Arora

YEC San Francisco

Arjun Dev Arora is the CEO and Founder of ReTargeter. The company is focused on providing retargeting and targeted display solutions for medium sized and enterprise level companies. ReTargeter helps companies optimize their ad spend online and “wow” their customers via the web by showing a site’s banner ads to its users after they leave the site. ReTargeter has been on the forefront of innovation in the nexus between social and display.



Eric Bahn

YEC San Francisco

Eric Bahn joined Hobsons as a product director after the company acquired his startup, Beat The GMAT, in October 2012. As an entrepreneur, he has been featured in a variety of major media publications, including: The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, Time Magazine, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and Fast Company.


Nicole Bell

Lisa Nicole Bell

YEC Los Angeles

Lisa Nicole Bell is an entrepreneur, award winning producer, and media personality. She is currently a brand ambassador Procter & Gamble’s Rising Tide campaign with Russell Simmons. Lisa is also the creator, director, and producer of Disrupted Life, an original unscripted series for



Evan Kirkpatrick

YEC Los Angeles

Evan Kirkpatrick is the CEO of Wendell Charles Financial where he and his team manage investments for high net worth and influential clients. He has been featured in numerous financial publications including Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, Inc., & Private Wealth.



Lauren Perkins

YEC New York

Lauren Perkins is a brand marketer and digital evangelist, best known for her work in defining and delivering Brandcentric business strategies. In 2008, Lauren started Perks Consulting, a digital brand and marketing agency specializing in the fusion of lifestyle and technology.



Emerson Spartz

YEC Chicago

Emerson Spartz is one of the world’s leading experts on internet virality and has been featured in major media including the Wall Street Journal, CBS Evening News, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News. As the CEO of Spartz Inc, he runs one of the fastest-growing digital media publishers with 160 million page views per month.



Shama Kabani

YEC Dallas

Known as the “Zen Master of Marketing” by Entrepreneur Magazine and the “Millennial Master of the Universe” by Fast Company, Shama Kabani is a visionary strategist for the digital age. She is the bestselling author of the Zen of Social Media Marketing and an acclaimed international keynote speaker who has been invited to share the speaking stage with the world’s top leaders, including President Obama and the Dalai Lama.



Andrew Vest

YEC Seattle

Andrew Vest is an entrepreneur to his core. He’s a natural businessman who’s passionate about creating Strategic Partnerships, Sales for Startups and overall being Connector within his network. Currently, Andrew Consults with Early-Stage companies in the areas of Sales & Marketing. While Consulting he and his Co-Founder are building Preferling, an interest-based recommendation engine for products and services. As a small business founder himself who wants to give back, Andrew is sympathetic and dedicated to helping and empowering entrepreneurs to reach their dreams.



Jennifer Donogh

YEC Seattle

Jennifer Donogh produces live webcasts for brands that bring their tribes together over video, with conversations stretching across social platforms. She has experience supporting and leading small businesses and female founders through Ovaleye and Young Female Entrepreneurs. Find her featured in Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, and the White House’s Champion of Change program.



Jeff Avallon

YEC Boston

Jeff Avallon is currently VP of Business Development at IdeaPaint. IdeaPaint is a dry-erase paint product that can transform any “paintable” surface into a high performance dry-erase writing surface. He joined the team shortly after graduation from Babson College while IdeaPaint was in product development.



Rakia Reynolds

YEC Philadelphia

Rakia Reynolds launched Skai Blue Media in early 2008 and has built a steady roster of clients such as Dell, Here’s My Chance, and United By Blue. Skai Blue Media’s niche and influence in the world of PR comes from my years of experience as a TV and print producer.



Danny Boice

YEC Washington, DC

Danny Boice is the the co-founder & CTO of Speek. Speek is a faster and easier way of doing conference calls. He regularly contributes to The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Fast Company, Pando Daily, Tech Cocktail and more. He is also a mentor for Lean Startup Machine, The Fort Accelerator and Acceleprise.



Lucas Sommer

YEC Miami

Lucas Sommer is the founder of three successful music business companies which he continues to own and operate profitably. His newest venture is Audimated, a game-changing site that is revolutionizing the independent music scene.



Reid Carr

YEC San Diego

Reid Carr is the President & CEO of San Diego-based Red Door Interactive. Among numerous awards for work, Red Door has twice been named one of the Best Places to Work in Media & Marketing by Advertising Age magazine as well as a Top Small Company Workplace by Inc Magazine.



Michael Mogill

YEC Atlanta

A modern renaissance man, consummate multitasker and entrepreneur Michael Mogill has been relentless in tackling new challenges and ventures, turning his passion for media into a diverse portfolio of businesses. His company, Crisp Video Group has produced video content for major international brands (e.g. Coca-Cola, Verizon, Red Bull), and has carved out a successful niche in the medical and dental industries. He has been featured in Forbes, Under30CEO, The Huffington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.

Phil Laboon


Phil Laboon

YEC Pittsburgh

Phil Laboon is the CEO of Eyeflow Internet Marketing where he and his team provide top tier inbound marketing consulting and services for a wide array of clientele including start ups and fortune 500’s. Phil has been at the forefront of the online marketing industry since 2001 and has had his articles published in Inc. Magazine, Forbes, Fox, and the American Express Forum.



Blake Miller

YEC Kansas City

Blake Miller is the Director of the Think Big Accelerator Program, a 6-9 month mentorship driven hands on program. The Think Big Accelerator is the first Partner Accelerator with Microsoft Ventures. Miller has cofounded multiple startups to include Bodeefit. He sits on the Board of several companies, while mentoring in Kansas City and nationally.