San Diego Students to Compete at Junior Achievement’s The Next Big Thing: Entrepreneurs Showcase Competition presented by Cymer, Inc
The Next Big Thing: Entrepreneurs Showcase is a part of Junior Achievement’s Company Program. The JA Company Program, a hallmark of Junior Achievement (JA), dating back to 1919, lets students start and manage their own businesses. By organizing and operating an actual business enterprise, students not only experience how business functions, but also learn financial responsibility, workforce readiness skills and entrepreneurship. Under the guidance of a business volunteer, students decide on a product or service, market it to their classmates, family and neighbors, and carry the responsibility of managing company finances.
This year’s program is supporting more teams than ever before, spanning nearly 10 high schools in San Diego. Teen companies, some of which have received outside funding from the PEERS Network Group at JA’s Quick Pitch 2015 event, spend 13 weeks in the classroom with a teacher and outside mentor. The in-class program educates students on how to build and run a successful company. Similar to the “real word” of adult- responsibilities, the teams have to create and sell a product/service, market it to classmates, family and neighbors, and manage company finances.
Students participating in the high-pressure event are from Canyon Crest, Clairemont, High Tech High, Hilltop, Junipero Serra, La Jolla High, San Dieguito Academy, and Westview High Schools, and students from the JA Teen Ambassador program.
At the event, a panel of judges will review companies’ business plans and decide on the top three winners. Teams locally will get a chance to compete at the North American competition in Washington, D.C. this summer. The students will be judged on ingenuity, marketing and finances.