Meet the Honorees

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Young Innovators Academy

Young Innovators Academy is revolutionizing early childhood education in Orlando and beyond. Their founding team of educators and academia have come together with a mission to empower children through creative curriculums that prepare them for a world of constant change. Their pioneering people-centered curriculum integrates new trends in education and takes cutting-edge learning concepts to the next level, ensuring every young learner achieves their highest potential.

Their unique value proposition lies in their mission: to empower children through an engaging curriculum and foster positive academic experiences while inspiring innovative thinking and creative problem-solving skills.

Founded in: 2019
Majority Owned by:
Female, Minority


Seminole County


Educational Services

Employee Growth 2019-2023

43% increase 

Revenue Growth 2019-2023

139% Increase

Marnie Forestieri


Was there an ah-hah moment that led you to your entrepreneurial journey or the idea for your company?

The childcare industry has long been plagued by issues of high turnover, subpar services, outdated curriculums, and costly programs. As a result, parents are left feeling uncertain about the reliability, quality of care, and education, while young professionals often disregard it as a potential career path.

But then, inspiration struck. We realized that a holistic approach was needed to address these concerns and shift the perception of childcare in every aspect. Our company is on a mission to prepare children for a world of constant change, placing that purpose at the center of everything we do. Moreover, we’re dedicated to creating career paths for young professionals. By doing so, we’re not only revolutionizing the industry, but also redefining the standards of quality, reliability, and excellence in education.

With two decades of experience as a multi-site operator, I have seen firsthand the rise and fall of centers. That’s the reason we are obsessed with offering quality service at every touchpoint. When you step into a school, you can immediately sense the culture. It’s the very essence that drives its success and long-term business plan. From directors who know each child by name to teachers who take pride in their work, it’s all about creating an environment for the children and families.

To preserve our mission, our company is operated exclusively by educators with classroom experience. This is our secret sauce because we know what it takes to be a successful teacher and mentor the next generation to grow in their careers. As educators ourselves, we understand the challenges that teachers, directors, and owners face daily. We have been in their shoes, and we know how demanding and fulfilling the industry can be. This is why our company provides the best possible resources and support for teachers and administrators.

I am a lifelong learner and always strive to better myself. The most important thing is to remain a servant leader, always putting the team and company first. This mindset has led me to seek guidance and wisdom from employees, parents, and other successful leaders and mentors, both within and outside of my industry.

We’ve been perfecting the model and systems in our own academies.  For the next 5 years, our goal is to expand our reach and impact by partnering with community entrepreneurs who share our vision of providing quality childcare services and join us on a mission to prepare children for a world of constant change.

We’ve automated every aspect of the childcare business to embrace the new world of work. We’ve shifted to people operations to meet the demands of a new generation of childcare entrepreneurs and created a toolbox of resources for them to succeed. Our aim is to equip our partners with the necessary tools and knowledge to provide quality care, while also helping them build successful businesses.

In the next 5 years, we envision having a strong global network of childcare academies, each run by passionate and dedicated community entrepreneurs who share our values and mission.

I feel fulfilled by witnessing the magic of learning in a young child’s eyes, or the sense of pride of a team member that we were able to help grow.  When it came time for teachers to implement this new method of teaching, something unexpected happened: many teachers weren’t quite sure how to make it work or even grasp its concepts as most had never experienced this type of approach as learners themselves!

As the team embarked on a transformational journey, It wasn’t long before the entire faculty embraced this revolutionary approach which resulted in an unprecedented level of engagement from both teachers and students alike.

What does it mean to be selected as a GrowFL FLCTW Honoree?

Being a part of this select group also means becoming an advocate for Florida’s economic development by showcasing the state’s diverse and thriving business landscape. You can represent your industry and share your success story, inspiring others to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank for getting you to where you are now?

Young Innovators is more than a company, it is a grassroots movement and transformational journey for teachers and childcare entrepreneurs.

We would like to thank our parents who have continuously supported us and are our advocates. Advisors provide us with insights on what made their industries successful and how we can apply them to our own company.

University professors who have shared their knowledge, expertise, and experiences with us. Team members who have worked tirelessly to bring our visions and ideas into reality.  And now, we welcome mission-driven investors who believe in our vision and provide the necessary resources to help us grow.

What is your advice for aspiring or fellow business owners?

My advice would be to never stop iterating your ideas. In today’s fast-paced world, things are constantly changing and evolving. What may have worked in the past, may not be as effective now. It’s important to continuously adapt and improve your business strategies.

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February 15, 2024 | Hard Rock Live - Orlando, FL
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