One of America’s most successful communities for business professionals.

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 BusinessCollective.

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


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


"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


"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


Read more about the Benefits of Membership:

  • A Trusted Community
  • Exclusive Brand-Building
    & Media Opportunities
  • Access To Business Tools & Resources
  • Travel & Lifestyle Services
  • Opportunities to Give Back
  • Educational Opportunities For You & Your Team
A Trusted Community

The YEC is a highly selective, invite-only group of likeminded startup founders from nearly every industry. YEC members enjoy high-touch support for a variety of curated, concierge-level benefits, including:

  • Dedicated member concierge team to facilitate warm introductions and connections, and provide top-notch community management
  • 24/7 peer-to-peer support via private community forum
  • Members-only dashboard and private network
  • In-person events around the U.S: Exclusive events at select conferences and trade shows as well as members-only national retreats.

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

"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


Exclusive Brand-Building
& Media 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.

"YEC helped me publish an article in The Washington Post. Simply amazing!"

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Dan Kim


Access To Business Tools & 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, online marketplace and online community forums. They also have access to business development resources such as:

  • Our Vetted Vendor Network: A network of proven service providers for every business need such as PEOs, health and business insurance and more
  • Access to free, one-one-one expense optimization sessions with a business services concierge
  • Exclusive discounts on business products and services such as Virtual Assistants and Bookkeeping
  • Community-wide forums for 24/7 peer-to-peer support for business questions and challenges.

"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


Travel & Lifestyle Services

Since we know entrepreneurs are always on the go, we’ve built travel and startup-lifestyle services directly into the YEC membership experience. YEC members receive:

  • A complimentary FoundersCard membership with the option to add co-founder and spouse cards. FoundersCard is an exclusive perks program that offers premiere benefits from travel and lifestyle brands
  • Access to our premium travel concierge: We will book flights, hotels and cars for your upcoming trips
  • Exclusive deals on hotels, cars and airfare via our self-booking platform
  • A curated list of members to meet while you travel — Let us know where you’re headed and we’ll facilitate warm introductions to members in the cities you’re visiting.

"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


Opportunities to Give Back

We’re passionate about improving the startup ecosystem and helping aspiring entrepreneurs succeed, grow and give back. YEC offers its members a chance to give back through organizations that empower entrepreneurs, like Junior Achievement, as well as other organizations in our MentorshipNetwork.

YEC members empower other entrepreneurs in several ways:

  • Participate in, teach or speak at mentorship events with nonprofit partners like Junior Achievement
  • Produce advice-based content for BusinessCollective.

"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


Educational Opportunities For You & Your Team

YEC partners with 2U and General Assembly to offer discounted education opportunities for you and your team. In partnership with 2U, YEC members have access to scholarship Opportunities for online degree programs from top-tier universities.

  • 2U partners with top-ranked colleges and universities (such as UC Berkeley and the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School) to deliver the world’s best online graduate education programs for data science, MBAs and more.
  • General Assembly (GA) offers courses and programs in technology, design and business geared toward building industry professionals.


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
  • awards &
  • community
  • social

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, more recently, the launch of BusinessCollective, a virtual mentorship program (in partnership with Citi) that helps millions of aspiring and current entrepreneurs launch and grow new businesses. YEC also launched the MentorshipNetwork so members can give back by working with top organizations, like Junior Achievement, that support the next generation of business leaders.

“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...