The Changing Tides – JA BizTown Summer Camp 2013

“We are asking for $300,000 for 15 percent of our company.”

Ninety pairs of eyes tether themselves to the three investors. The room seems vacuum-sealed as the audience holds it breath awaiting the initial response to the business proposal.

“Will you take $300,000 at 20 percent?”

All eyes swing over to the presenters.


The audience ripples with a tremor of excited whispers as the business team shakes hands with the investors and is presented with a check.

During our week-long JA BizTown Summer Camp, ninety 4th through 7th grade students join us at our facility to learn about how to operate a business, manage personal finances and prepare for the workforce.

This year, our Summer Camp Coordinator Lauriah West redesigned the curriculum and implemented a module entitled Producer's Place based off the TV series "Shark Tank."

For Producer's Place, the students...

  • are assigned business teams in which they each select a position (CEO, CFO, VP of Marketing, VP of Production and VP of Sales), 
  • complete a written business plan (name, logo, slogan, product/service, target market, competition, pricing and salaries), 
  • design advertising posters as well as a prototype of their product
  • and at the end of the week present their proposal to three investors (“sharks”) asking for their endorsement in return for a percentage of the company.

Watch out Jaws, you are not the only big fish in the big blue pond! These elementary school students drive a hard bargain and will blow you out of the water with their innovative ideas.

Check out just some of the proposals we had this year:

1. 2 in 1, "Make 'em Shine"

We are a dental company that produces equipment that makes cleaning your teeth easier and faster.

Up+Down Toothpaste ($9.99) – The tube is divided into 2 parts. The “up” side has caffeine in it to help you wake up in the mornings and the “down” side has chamomile to help you sleep.

Full Mouth Flosser ($25.00) – a personalized mouth guard that has built-in floss, so that each time you wear your mouth guard, you are flossing your teeth

2.  Snap Surf, "Snap it. Surf it. Live it."

A big problem in the surfing industry is not everyone has a car that can fit a surfboard. If you can take it apart and put it together, it will revolutionize surfing. We make surfboards that you can snap and fold. They are guaranteed to stay locked in place under any circumstances and have detachable fins.

Long boards ($650)

Short boards ($550)

Paddleboards ($800)

3. Vaccine Squared, "Medical vaccines with no pain guaranteed!"

It is a syringe with both an anesthetic and medicine component. The cartridge releases the anesthetic through a string breaking the seal (when the plunger is pulled back). It travels through a cloth covering, which creates a spray effect as the anesthetic is released. Then, you inject the vaccine into the numbed area.

One Syringe ($100) – it is a one-time use syringe, complete with metal case.      

Simultaneously with Producer's Place, the students learn how to balance a checkbook, fill out job applications, complete a job interview, run the JA BizTown simulation, learn about philanthropy, donate to a local charity and also take an off-site visit to SeaWorld to check out some real life sharks in action.

One thing we learn about our future entrepreneurs and professionals is that they are not just going to wade in the shallow end and get their feet wet. They are ready to dive into the deep end and take on the current. 

Get pumped for next year's JA BizTown Summer Camp! We might be introducing even more exciting changes to the curriculum. And, hey, we have our newest summer camp next week--JA Innovation Central Entrepreneurship Camp. And it's not too late to sign up! 

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