Membership in the Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy provides fellows 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 fellows to participate in a five-month entrepreneurship program. SEA seeks individuals who think outside the box and want to create business ventures at some point in their life. Fellows come from the Sacramento Business Community, UC Davis and CSUS–from both undergraduate and graduate programs—and in every class, there is a great diversity.
On Saturday mornings from January through May, Fellows 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, fellows 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 700 fellows 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.
Currently Seeking our Class of 2020 Entrepreneurs!
How to Apply
The Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy considers applications from working professionals, upper division or graduate students of four year colleges, or students with the equivalent of two years of college.
To assure that you are considered for membership in the academy, you must complete the application form completely. The information you provide on the form will be used as the first screen for membership. If your application indicates that you are a potential fellow, you will be invited to an interview with the academy staff. At the interview you will be interviewed by the administrator and one or more board members. Following the interview, you will be notified of your acceptance to the upcoming class.
Applications are accepted from June through early-December. Interviews will be conducted during the months of September, October, November, and December. Academy classes begin in early-January and conclude in mid-May. Once you’ve completed the application, simply hit the submit button. Your application will be reviewed and you will be contacted within 7 business days. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.
Let US give YOU the tools to:
Obtain hands-on business education.
Take the first step towards starting your OWN business.
Gain rare access to entrepreneurs and business leaders.
Leverage the SEA community.
Augment your degree.
Accelerate YOUR career.
Pursue your DREAMS.
View entrepreneurship business and leadership from EVERY angle!
The inviting environment and curriculum to catapult YOU into entrepreneurship success!!
The cost for attending the 2020 SEA program is $3,000 per Fellow. We are currently offering scholarships in the amount of $2,500 to Fellows that are not currently sponsored by an individual, an institution or their respective companies. Fellows that meet eligibility are only required to pay $500 for the 5-month long program which includes access to SEA graduates and board members. On a limited basis we will offer payment terms to those fellows who need them.
Curriculum and Format
The main component of the SEA program is the Saturday session or “business meeting.” Business meetings are held for four hours on Saturday mornings; fruit, muffins and beverages are arranged by the fellows and paid for by the Academy. There are two focal points to the Academy year. The first is focused on “How to write a business plan.” The second finishes up the major components of the business plan process. Fellows finish writing the business plans, submit the plans to the board, and present their ideas at a formal Business Plan Presentation Session. The remainder of the spring semester has more flexible scheduling, including topics of particular interest to the current class, and hearing the personal stories of seasoned business people. Lively fellow discussion and probing questions are encouraged!
Business Plan Competition
The fellow teams present their final business plans to a panel of judges (made up of members of the Academy Board and other experienced local entrepreneurs and venture capitalists). The weeks prior, the fellows are coached and mentored by Alumni at a ‘dry run’ session to ensure any last minute ‘kinks’ are worked out.
The business plans are judged on the following criteria:
1. Written Presentation
Did the written plan clearly convey the idea/concept presented? Was it easy to read, internally consistent and complete? Organization, grammar, spelling and format of the plan are also assessed.
2. Oral Presentation
Did the oral presentation clearly convey the idea/concept presented in the written plan? Was it well prepared and organized? Was it exciting, provocative, and upbeat? Did the presenters display confidence and credibility? The visual aids, tempo and timing, response to questions and consistency with the written plan are also assessed.
3. Probability of funding
Did the oral and written presentation establish a reasonable basis to anticipate that the venture could generate or obtain the necessary initial capital for the venture? Has adequate allowance been made for additional capital requirements, after taking into account any expected cash flow from operations? The quality of the financial data, the stated use of proceeds and the exit strategy are also assessed, as well as whether potential risks are identified and strategies noted for addressing the risks?
4. Value of the Idea/concept
Does the product/service fill a need? Is there a real opportunity addressed? Does the concept show innovation or a better mousetrap?
5. Viability of the Plan
Is this a solid, well thought out plan for capturing the opportunity? Does the plan follow a logical path? Are the priorities correct? Does it make sense? Does the plan address all factors that may influence the successful launching of the business? Are the assumptions backed up with accurate and appropriate facts and materials?
The Academy’s annual Showcase event is where the current SEA Class gets the opportunity to showcase the business plans they have created during their time in the program through interactive displays, exhibits, and presentations. The Showcase is a key component in the successful completion of the Academy’s program. Along with exhibits, Keynote speakers who are typically successful entrepreneurs or influential business leaders wow the audience with candid dialogue about their business experiences.
The Showcase is also an excellent opportunity to promote your business to the Sacramento business community as well as to support entrepreneurship in the Sacramento area. It is also a great event at which to invite your clients and business partners to join you for an informative evening accompanied by a hosted bar and catered food. Attendance is typically capped at 300 and media is invited.