Five JA Company Program Teams Exhibit their Products at First Annual JA Trade Show

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On Saturday, February 23, 2019, five teams of fifty young entrepreneurs participated in the inaugural Junior Achievement Trade Show.

Hosted by Tysons Corner Center in Tysons, Virginia, the JA Trade Show was an opportunity for the 2018-19 JA Company Program students to ignite their entrepreneurial spirits by debuting their new businesses to the public in their very own mall storefront.

The JA Company Program is a competitive, six-month-long program in which high school students are challenged to work in teams and put their business ideas into action by launching and operating a startup under the guidance of business professionals.

The students spent the afternoon discussing and demoing their products, selling to new customers, and premiering their company commercials. Collectively, the teams made more than $2,500 in sales.


The teams were evaluated and interviewed by a panel of local business and civic leaders:

  • Camille Francis - Sr. HR Coordinator, Capital One

  • Dan Jones - Cyber Risk Services Manager, Deloitte

  • Jimmy Lewandowski, Associate Director, Northeast Business Development Operation, EY

Team ComfortKey, a business that addresses the issue of harassment by selling keychains equipped with an alarm and flashlight that can be used for self-protection, received the award for Best Overall Company.


Team Sipsy Straws, a business that sells non-toxic, re-usable straws to help eliminate plastic waste while raising awareness about the effects of plastic waste on marine life, received the awards for Best Commercial and Best Sales.

On April 6, the five teams will formally pitch their business ideas at the JA Spark Tank Competition for a chance to represent Junior Achievement of Greater Washington at the 2019 National Student Leadership Summit in June.

JA of Greater Washington congratulates this outstanding group of students on an excellent exhibition and wishes their companies continued success. A huge thank-you is extended to the three JA Trade Show judges, Camille, Dan and Jimmy, who provided invaluable support and guidance for the teams.

To view more photos from the event, click here.