The Program

The Academy connects me with a network of some of the most successful business people in the region–professionals who find joy in giving back to their communities by helping young people like me also become successful. The SEA is a perfect stepping-stone to the business world!

Will Merchad
SEA class of 2006

An education program designed to fast track students on the road to entrepreneurship

Membership in the Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy provides students with:

  • a “real world” business education taught by successful entrepreneurs
  • mentoring and support from a Board of Directors comprised of local business and academic leaders, successful entrepreneurs, and service providers
  • an opportunity to develop and refine a business plan that is presented to the business community
  • incredible networking opportunities
  • ongoing educational programs and networking opportunities after graduation

Each year, SEA selects a group of high potential college students to participate in a one-year entrepreneurship program. SEA seeks individuals who think outside the box and want to create business ventures after completing their formal education. Most come from UC Davis and CSUS–from both undergraduate and graduate programs—and in every class, there is an interesting international and age group mix.

On Saturday mornings during the school year, students receive nuts and bolts information about starting and running one’s own business—the good, the bad, and the ugly! Entrepreneurs who have been through the trenches share their personal experiences and lessons learned. Topics covered include marketing your business, equity division, obtaining financing, and legal advice.

Early in the program, students form small groups to develop a comprehensive business plan. Throughout the year, they receive advice from board members, alumni, and speakers to refine this plan. The culmination of the year is a business plan presentation to approximately 400 Sacramento area business leaders.

SEA has graduated approximately 600 students since its 1986 inception. Many alumni have started successful businesses and are now mentors to new students. The entrepreneurship support continues after graduation for alumni. Educational programs, networking opportunities, and social events are ongoing.