JA Business Plan Competition

The JA New York Business Plan Competition (BPC) is an intensive entrepreneurship education experience for high school students, generously funded by G.C. Andersen Partners, ICE NYSE Foundation, and Delta Air Lines, Inc. Since its inception in 2008, over 7,500 high school students have received valuable business and entrepreneurship education. Students work in small teams to create a viable business plan for a product or service. Read about the 2019 Business Plan Competition winners here.
Several rounds of online and live competition determine the top three teams to receive cash prize awards and a trophy for their school. First, second, and third place prizes totaling nearly $220,000 since the program's inception have been awarded to competitors who presented the strongest, most creative, and innovative business plans. Past participants have gone on to create successful business enterprises of their own. 
How Do Students and Volunteers Benefit From Participation?
Business Plan Competition students learn key business concepts and skills while developing a blueprint strategy to launch a new product or service. The unique curriculum helps students get excited about the world of business and entrepreneurship and empowers them to use entrepreneurial thinking to create value, in their own companies or working for someone else. The small group sessions with "real world" business volunteers personalize the student experience.
Volunteers benefit from mentoring the students over the course of two months as they deepen their connection with the teams. Their professional experiences and insights help students learn what it takes to work collaboratively with a team to create a successful business.
Get Involved
Educators: Due to high demand, this program is only open to select JA New York partner schools. To learn more about how you can work with JA New York, please click here to learn more about how we partner with schools. Please note that the Business Plan Competition is a very intensive program and that students will need access to computers/Internet at least once per week, as well as class time outside of the volunteer visits.
Volunteers: Interested in coaching students? JA New York will provide all curriculum, training, and support for your commitment. The program requires six 45-minute sessions with your assigned BPC class. To ensure a high level of support for students, we aim for 2-3 volunteers per class. If you would like to partner with friends or colleagues, please let us know – otherwise, we may place you with other volunteers.
Pillars of Student Success Entrepreneurship:  Financial-Literacy:  Work-Readiness: 
Program Implementation Program Grade-Level
JA AfterSchool High School
Program Concepts Program Skills
Advertisement, Business plan, Competitive advantages, Customer, Demographic, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurial spirit, Management, Market, Market needs, Marketing, Product, Product development, Profit Analyzing information, Business planning, Categorizing data, Decision making, Evaluating alternatives, Expressing multiple viewpoints, Graphic presentation, Presenting information, Reading for understanding, Verbal and written communication, Weighing consequences, Working in groups

Program Sessions

Teacher Pre-Session

Students are introduced to the competition's rules and parameters, discuss innovation and entrepreneurship, form teams, and begin assessing potential needs they could fill. They start brainstorming ideas.

Session 1

Students finalize the customer problem they will be addressing and how their product or service will be a solution. Each team member chooses a role to fill.

Session 2

Students research their target market and conduct a SWOT analysis to help define their competitive advantage. 

Session 3

Students draft a marketing strategy that addresses the 4 P's of Marketing.

Session 4

Students research and discus their business' start-up costs.

Session 5

Students research and determine their Cost of Goods Sold, and come up with projections of their revenues, expenses, and profit/loss.

Session 6

Students finalize their business plan and ready it for submission.

Preliminary Round

Students' written plans will be judged to determine the top 3-5 teams from each school.


Quarterfinalists will prepare a brief video pitch and PowerPoint presentation for this round. Online judges will determine the top team from each school.


The top teams citywide (one from each school) will present their plans live at Semifinals.


Finalists will pitch their plans to a panel of venture capitalists and entrepreneurs at Finals. The top three teams citywide will receive cash prizes.