And the 2017 JA Company Program winners are?

San Diego's teen entrepreneurs are celebrating this month for scoring 1st, 2nd, 3rd place for creating and pitching the “best start-up company” to a panel of judges at Junior Achievement’s Company Program High School Competition on Thursday, April 20th, presented by the OtterCares Foundation.

Congratulations to the following teen teams:

• 1st place: Coffishake from Canyon Crest Academy. The student team designed and created a portable coffee-shaker that allows you to brew hot coffee or tea on the go.


• 2nd Place: VestraVerbam from Westview High School. The student team created bracelets with a one word messaging that inspires and empowers young adults.

• 3rd Place: The Bigger Picture from Grossmont High School. The student team created a digital app to help teens have an easier time when applying to colleges and universities. The app includes deadlines for admissions, scholarship opportunities and a student loan calculator.

• Ingenuity Award, Jabberwocky Media from San Dieguito Academy. The CEO of the media company created a website where online visitors can share reviews of popular movies, TV shows, music and books.

• Best Showcase Booth, Pasta Man Tony from San Dieguito Academy. The high-school chefs share their love of pasta with the world by showcasing quick, easy, and fun recipes that anyone can do on their new You-Tube cooking channel.

“As a JA mentor for Canyon Crest Academy over the last three years, I can tell you students are amazed when they realize that starting a business can be a reality,” said Ken Schmitt, president of Turning Point Executive Search and JA Company Program Mentor of winning team Coffieshake. “The JA Company program is unique because it goes beyond the textbook and classroom, providing students the opportunity to turn their ideas into real, tangible businesses that generate real money. In my opinion there is no better way for young adults to learn than by actually doing and experiencing.”

The teen companies are a part of the JA Company Program®, in which high school students start and manage their own businesses from the ground-up. Students must decide on a product or service, market it to their classmates, family and neighbors, and carry the responsibility of managing company finances under the guidance of a JA mentor.  This program is a hallmark of JA that started back in 1919.

The young entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to compete at the Junior Achievement national competition to be held this summer in Washington, D.C.  The annual JA Company of the Year Competition, presented by The Hartford, is a contest of business skills, ingenuity and innovation that focuses on the accomplishments of U.S. JA Company Program*. Nearly 15,000 U.S. students, ages 15-19, created 800 start-up companies during the 2016-2017 school year. 

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Kristi Zimsky

Kristi Zimsky

PR and Social Media Manager