Press Releases

Three Student Companies Go For the Win At Junior Achievement Entrepreneurs Showcase

May 25, 2012

On Thursday at Junior Achievement of San Diego and Imperial Counties’ “The Next Big Thing” Entrepreneurs Showcase, fifteen student-run companies competed for a chance to advance to the Junior Achievement National Student Leadership Summit in Washington D.C. this summer.

Student professionals had only six minutes to showcase their businesses to the judges. Westview High School’s Place~Mate and Local Noise, and Harmonium’s Cast-A-Waste wowed with their innovations and progressed for a chance to compete in the Junior Achievement North American competition. 

Place~Mate shined with their product, an interactive place mat intended for preschoolers and has multiple uses, winning the first place. Local Noise took home second place for their service that promotes bands and sells concert tickets. Winning the third place and the Ingenuity Award for the most creative product, Cast-A-Waste presented their unique worm casting product used to enhance the soil.

After the trade show, David Hale, a CEO of Hale BioPharma Ventures and JA Hall of Fame Laureate, reflected on his entrepreneurial experience and inspired the kids with his success. Along with Hale, Junior Achievement USA® Senior Vice President of Operations Howard Bartner enthused the students with the congratulatory speech.  

“Since Junior Achievement was founded, over a million of students have formed tens of thousands of companies just like you,” said Bartner to the students. “Know if either you want to become a veterinarian or an athlete just like some of our JA Alumni, you can apply this experience to either your personal finances or your company’s function.”

Active since 1919, Junior Achievement Company Program encompasses business, entrepreneurship and economics curriculum. Under the guidance of a business volunteer, students create a product or service, market it and manage company finances.

On June 15, Junior Achievement USA® will announce if any of the three companies will progress to the summit in Washington D.C. to win a $500 scholarship from the Achievement Foundation for further education as well as a trophy and medal.

To learn more about Junior Achievement of San Diego and Imperial Counties and its financial literacy programs, please visit


JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT is a worldwide nonprofit organization that empowers young people to own their economic success. Junior Achievement of San Diego and Imperial Counties is working locally to reach 46,000 students in K-12 classrooms for the 2011-2012 school year, which takes 5,500 volunteers who will lead classes and experiential programs.  For more information on programs in San Diego and Imperial Counties, visit