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 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
November 16, 2017 | 9:45 am - 1:45 pm | Advanced Technology Center at TCC Virginia Beach
2017 LEAP @ JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT
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.
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
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
One-minute commercial videos to showcase student companies' products and marketing wherewithal
Top Commercial: VB Pockets | Kellam High School
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
Each venture presented its snapshot business plan for judging
Top Score: I Mua | Kellam High School
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. We do provide JA Launch Lesson throughout the year. Contact Mirielle McMillin at email@example.com if you would like a volunteer to come into your classroom.