And the winners are? Results from JA’s High School Pitch Fest Competition


Meet the Bright Future with the Teen Entrepreneurs from Grossmont, Poway, San Diego, Classical Academy, and San Dieguito School Districts at 2017 Pitch Fest Competition.

San Diego's teen entrepreneurs are celebrating this month because they scored 1st, 2nd, 3rd place for creating and pitching the “best start-up company” to a panel of judges at Junior Achievement’s high-school competition, 2017 Pitch Fest.  Congratulations to the following teen teams:

  • 1st place winner is Coffishake from Canyon Crest Academy.  The team designed and created a portable coffee-shaker that allows you to brew hot coffee or tea on the go. 
  • The  2nd place winner is  VestraVerba from Westview High.  The students created bracelets with a one-word messaging to inspire and empower young adults. 
  • The 3rd place winner is Hop Carpool from San Diequito High.  The team created a solution to an over-crowded traffic problem at their school with no buses during drop off/ and pick up times with a new car-pool business.

First Place Winners, Coffishake from Canyon Crest Academy (left to right) JA Board Member and Mentor, Ken Schmitt, Studnets, Luca Novo, Gaurar Dixit, Victoria Chen, Nina Garcia with Teacher, Maureen Plumb. 

Other business ideas featured at Pitch Fest include: digital apps to help you budget personal finance and explore local hot-spots; launching a Taekwondo school; and making used denim fun again with creative designs and jewels.    

Hosted for the first time at SDG&E Innovative Center, teen groups had six-minutes to pitch their business idea, product and service to a panel of judges. The students are judged in five categories: ingenuity, marketability, clarity, outstanding individuals and market size. 

Judges from Otterbox, i.d.e.a., PEERS Networking, and Pro Back Office at Pitch Fest.

“This event has been a remarkable learning experience for our team.  It has taught us how to communicate effectively, delegate tasks and most importantly, make sure everyone on our team has a voice,” said Canyon Crest Academy student and CFO of Coffishake, Gaurar Dixit.  “We want to thank our Junior Achievement mentor, Ken Schmitt for providing us with the skills we need to manage our existing company and to understand business, as a whole, throughout this exciting 13 week competition."

The teams with the best potential to launch a marketable business take home capital funding from PEERS Network. With this money, the teams are responsible for creating and selling a product/service, marketing it to their classmates, family and neighbors, and carrying the responsibility of managing company finances.

“I would like to thank the judges from Otterbox, Peers Networking, i.d.e.a. and Pro Back Office for awarding our team with a microloan to continue our dream of making fun apparel from used clothing with our creative designs and hardware,” said Taylor Mason, San Dieguito Academy student and Head Designer for Revitalize Apparel. “We are so proud of our team’s success and look forward to the next competition.”   


The teens then head to The Next Big Thing: Entrepreneur’s Showcase, sponsored by Otterbox and PEERS Networking on April 20 at the JA’s campus in Mission Valley.   The winners from the April event have a chance to complete nationally to be named “Student Company of the Year.”

“As a JA mentor for CCA over the last 3 years, I can tell you students are amazed when they realize that starting a business can be a reality, ” said Ken Schmitt, CEO and Founder of Turning Point Executive Search and JA Company Program Mentor for Coffishake, the first place winning company at the 2017 Pitch Fest. “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.”    

Quick Pitch 2015 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. 

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