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.


JA Company Program

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 cutting edge 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.


Events

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

2018 SPARK HAMPTON ROADS: LIGHT SPEED

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

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

2018 JA Company of the Year for Hampton Roads:

The Find It of Kellam High School.

SPARK HR LIGHT SPEED 2018 PICTURES

Commercial Video

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

Top Commercial: Cookie Creations | Cox High School

innovation award

Awarded to the company that displayed the most innovation

Innovation: 5tay Charged | Lake Taylor High School


 

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

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

2017 SPARK TANK: LIGHT SPEED | SPRING
 

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


 

Launch Lesson

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. We do provide JA Launch Lesson throughout the year. Contact Mirielle McMillin at mirielle.mcmillin@ja.org if you would like a volunteer to come into your classroom.