Igniting the Future of Entrepreneurship in Hampton Roads

JA Spark Hampton Roads is our flagship suite of entrepreneurship , featuring classroom programs and incredible event experiences.



Junior Achievement's flagship program challenges high school students to work together to launch their own startup.  Through 13 modules, exceptional mentors guide companies from cradle to grave: from ideation to capitalization; from production to liquidation.  A novel blended learning approach gives students 24/7 access to the program and encounters with the bleeding edge of authentic entrepreneurial experiences, including crowdfunding and e-commerce.

Learn more about how Junior Achievement's redeveloped Company Program and its online learning management system will revolutionize entrepreneurship education in Hampton Roads:

 

Spark Hampton Roads x High School Entrepreneurship

Each year, Virginia Beach and Norfolk high school students venture into the real, high stakes world of business in their Advanced Entrepreneurship & Innovation course.  At the heart of the curriculum:  the JA Company Program.

Over the course of six months, mentor teams comprised of dynamic Hampton Roads entrepreneurs and business leaders guide student companies through the triumphs and challenges of running a startup. Each of the teams develops a product and tests their mettle on the market and at our Spark Hampton Roads LEAP and Light Speed events.

The journey begins anew in September.  We are looking for businesses and entrepreneurs to mentor the next generation of student startups.  Find out how you can be involved.



April 18, 2018 | Advanced Technology Center at TCC Virginia Beach

2018 SPARK HAMPTON ROADS: LIGHT SPEED

Coming April 2018, the JA Company of the Year competition for Hampton Roads - LIGHT SPEED.

Coming April 2018, the JA Company of the Year competition for Hampton Roads - LIGHT SPEED.


 

November 16, 2017 | 9:45 am - 1:45 pm | Advanced Technology Center at TCC Virginia Beach

2017 LEAP @ JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT

LEAP_Graphic.png
 

A LEAP forward with Hatch

On November 16, 2017, we partnered with Hatch, Norfolk's premier startup accelerator and resource aggregator, to bring Spark Hampton Roads students an unmatched event experience.  Hatch founder Zack Miller shared his popular LEAP Business Obstacle Course with Spark Hampton Roads participants, energizing them with new skills, fresh challenges, and a chance to create a playbook leading to business success.

Students LEARNED new skills, EXECUTED those skills in extemporaneous challenges, ADAPTED them to their own business contexts, and will now PUT THEM TO WORK according to their action plan.

 

Participants navigated 5 obstacles:

Pitching | Innovating | Branding | Social Media | Sales

Challenges included rapid prototyping with LEGO bricks (over 40 pounds of LEGOs were acquired for the event), a race to 25 "likes" via social media marketing, lightning round elevator pitches, and more.

Students from Virginia Beach's Kempsville, Cox, and Green Run High Schools took home seed funding for their winning sales pitches.

Learn more about LEAP at startwithhatch.com.


PAST EVENTS


2017 SPARK TANK: LIGHT SPEED | SPRING
 

April 5, 2017 | Advanced Technology Center at TCC Virginia Beach

30 Student Companies, Five Challenges, One JA Company of the Year

2017 JA Company of the Year for Hampton Roads:

Focus 360 of Kempsville Entrepreneurship and Business Academy

Business Presentations

Student companies pitched their businesses for four minutes and responded to 4 minutes of Q&A with a panel of VIP Judges

Top Presentation: Focus 360 | Kempsville Entrepreneurship and Business Academy

Light Speed Expo

A trade-fair-style expo assessed by a panel of VIP judges

Expo Grand Prize: Focus 360 | Kempsville Entrepreneurship and Business Academy

Commercial Video

One-minute commercial videos to showcase student companies' products and marketing wherewithal

Top Commercial: VB Pockets | Kellam High School

Annual Report

Each student venture submitted a final report of their activities, accomplishments, and lessons learned

Top Annual Report: VB Pockets | Kellam High School

Light Speed Dating

A speed-dating-style, round robin elevator pitch competition

Winner: Ink, Inc. | Cox High School


 

2016 SPARK TANK: LAUNCH DAY | FALL

40 Student Companies; 3 Challenges; Startup Capital on the Line

2016 launch day champion:
I mua | Kellam high school

Runner Up: VB Pockets | Kellam High School; Second Runner Up: Candy Rain | Green Run High School

Pitch and Catch Fire

Student companies had three minutes to pitch their business concepts to a panel of VIP Judges

Top Score: I Mua | Kellam High School

Business Snapshots

Each venture presented its snapshot business plan for judging

Top Score: I Mua | Kellam High School

Quantum Challenge

An extemporaneous social entrepreneurship challenge

Quantum Challenge Champion: Focus 360 | Kempsville High School


 

2016 SPARK TANK: LIGHT SPEED | SPRING

2016 JA Company of the Year for Hampton Roads: Memory Lights of Kempsville High School

Runner Up: Choose Happiness | Kellam High School; Second Runner Up: Woodengram | Kempsville High School

Best Commercial: Choose Happiness | Kellam High School


 

2015 SPARK TANK: LAUNCH DAY | FALL

Winner: Memory Lights | Kempsville High School; Runner Up: Ambassadors | Cox High School; Second Runner Up: Seaside Scents | First Colonial High School



JA Launch Lesson is designed to coincide with National Entrepreneurship Month in November. The program brings an entrepreneur into a high school classroom to engage students in a one-hour presentation aimed to inspire and share with young people what it takes to launch and run a business venture.