Press Releases

Young Business Owners to Compete at Junior Achievement’s Entrepreneurs Showcase on May 16

April 30, 2013

Presented by Cymer, Inc., the competition brings together 14 student companies

On May 16, fourteen high school companies will present their innovative products and services at Junior Achievement of San Diego County’s The Next Big Thing: Entrepreneurs Showcase presented by Cymer, Inc. at Scottish Rite Center from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

All part of JA Company Program, the competitors will come together from Barrio Logan, City Heights, Chula Vista, Poway, San Marcos and Mira Mesa schools to compete for the first, second or third place and The Most Original Product, Best Showcase and Best Profit-Margin Awards. Among the products and services, there are the youth-run sports clinic, brightly painted Day of the Dead pots, eco-friendly shadowboxes, recycled ties refashioned into bowties and more.

Active since 1919, Junior Achievement Company Program encompasses business, entrepreneurship and economics curriculum. During the business planning and launching process in JA Company Program classes, the students develop an understanding of the connection between what they learn in school and practical application.

This year, San Diego-based tech leader Cymer, Inc. is the presenting sponsor of The Next Big Thing competition.

“We are so pleased to partner with Cymer, Inc. to bring our local high school students together to participate in the entrepreneurial competition,” said Tara Michener, vice president of development and community relations at Junior Achievement of San Diego County. “This event is an innovative way to engage students in becoming entrepreneurial thinkers.”

At the event, a panel of judges will review companies’ business plans and decide on top three winners who will get a chance to compete at the North American competition in Washington D.C. this summer.

Junior Achievement strongly believes that the more real-life, hands-on learning situations there are for the local youth, the more students will understand the relevance of their education, and how it applies to the workplace and future success, Michener said.

 “I learned to think for myself and take an initiative,” said Elmira Yousufi, a student at Westview High School and vice president of marketing for JA Company Beyond, Inc. “You would need the [business] concepts you learn for anything—whether you want to be an artist or a lawyer. I am happy I took this class because I have gained what I wanted to gain. ”

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.

“We are able to show the students that there are more jobs available within a company than they thought,” said Chris Markham, a volunteer and a business student at Point Loma Nazarene University. “By the end of the program, a lot of the students were motivated to go to college or had a better idea about what they want to do after graduation.”

At the competition last year, over 100 student representatives presented their business plans and trade show booths to 10 judges. The first place team—Place-Mate—and second place team—Cast-A-Waste— entered into the North American competition in Washington D.C.  At the national competition, Cast-A-Waste took home second place, and Place-Mate was awarded the NYSE Best Financial Performance Award.

To learn more about JA Company Program, visit Junior Achievement’s YouTube page. Learn more about Junior Achievement of San Diego County at


JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT OF SAN DIEGO, INC. works locally to reach 50,000 students in K-12 classrooms for the 2012-2013 school year, which takes thousands of volunteers who lead classes and experiential programs.  For more information on programs in San Diego and Imperial Counties, visit

CYMER is an industry leader in developing lithography light sources, used by chipmakers worldwide to pattern advanced semiconductor chips. Cymer's light sources have been widely adopted by the world's top chipmakers and its installed base comprises approximately 3,900 systems. Continuing its legacy of leadership, Cymer is currently pioneering the industry's transition to EUV lithography, the next viable step on the technology roadmap for the creation of smaller, faster chips. The company is headquartered in San Diego, CA, has more than 1,200 employees on payroll (expressed in full time equivalents) and supports its customers from numerous offices around the globe. Cymer maintains a Web site to which it regularly posts press releases, SEC filings, and additional information about Cymer. Interested persons can also subscribe to automated e-mail alerts or RSS feeds. Please visit