JA Innovation Challenge | Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana

JA Innovation Challenge

JA Innovation Challenge

Using entrepreneurial based cirriculum, JA Innovation Challenge is an exciting new program that teaches young entrepreneurs about the ins and outs of running a successful business. Students will create a business plan and learn problem-solving, critical thinking, and business strategy skills as well as the importance of working together as a team.

JA Innovation Challenge is an opportunity for classrooms to strengthen their entrepreneurial skills. With a JA Volunteer, students will develop a start-up enterprise and business plan as they learn how to conduct market research and identify and leverage competitive advantages. Over the course of 7 weeks, this will culminate in a 5-7 minute pitch, where students will present their business plan and marketing plan.

The 7th week is an in-class competition, in which judges will select a winning business to compete in the JA Innovation Challenge on Friday, April 6th at the Southern Indiana Career & Tech Center. The top three teams will be awarded cash prizes. Students participating in the event will also be eligible for scholarships from University of Evansville, University of Southern Indiana and Ivy Tech Community College.

How does the JA Innovation Challenge work?

The program is divided into 6 in-class sessions led by a volunteer, during which students will work in pairs to come up with a new product or service idea. The sessions will help the students create a business plan, a display, advertising pieces, and a 5-7 minute "elevator pitch" about their idea.

What's in it for the students?

The students will be able to recognize characteristics and practices of successful entrepreneurs. They'll be able to evaluate an entrepreneurial idea based on product, customer, and competitive advantage criteria. Participants will be able to demonstrate business planning skills for a venture start-up, marketing, financing, management, and ethical decision making.

The following prizes will be up for grabs:

1st Place—$600 prize for each team

2nd Place—$300 prize for each team 

3rd Place—$200 prize for each team 

For more information, please contact Autumne Baker

2017-2018 Sponsors

Visionary Sponsors

Toyota IndianaVuteo

Innovator Sponsors

AlcoaCiholasEvansville Teachers Federal Credit UnionVectren

Investor Sponsors

Start-up Sponsors

Fifth Third Bank - Indana Farm Bureau - Lieberman Technologies - Seufert Construction - US Surveyor

Hospitality Sponsor

Coca-Cola - Dunkin' Donuts - Frito Lay - Papa John's Pizza

2017-18 Winners

  Congratulations to our winning classrooms!

First Place: Harrison High School (Whalen, Roberts, Watten, and Fuchs )

Product: Pass the Info (A pacifier designed to measure infant vitals such as respiration, pulse, and temperature)

HArrison Hig 1st Place Winners

Second Place: New Tech Institute (Baldwin, Cardwell, and Simmons)

Product: SAPT, Sexual Assualt Prevention Technology (A straw designed to detect date rape drugs)

New Tech Institute 2nd Place Winners

Third Place: Harrison High School (Titzer, Fehn, and Swain)

Product: Sign Glasses (Special Optics designed to provide real time communication between the hearing and deaf communities)

Harrison High School 3rd Place Winners

  • "Junior Achievement has given me a sense of what adults go through with budget issues."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "Junior Achievement reinforced concepts for me to remember later in life."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "I thought the experience was amazing. The presentation was unlike anything I've seen."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "I liked how the Junior Achievement volunteer explained his job to us."

    -Junior Achievement Student

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