On Friday, July 12, 2019, team "Pocket Walk It," composed of aspiring young entrepreneurs from the Greater Washington region, won first place in the 2019 JA Entrepreneurship Summit Pitch Competition.
This competition was held at EY in Tyson's Corner, Virginia. This event was the culmination of the 2019 JA Entrepreneurship Summit, an intensive, five-day boot camp where high school students work in teams to develop the most innovative, comprehensive solution to a business challenge.
This year, students worked with staff from Custom Ink to identify a social issue of their choice and then choose at least one product from the Custom Ink inventory around which they can build a business that addresses the identified social issue.
In addition to designing their product, the student teams devised a marketing campaign around that product, developed a business model that allowed for growth and sustainability, and prepared a business pitch. The six teams included “Your Choice,” “Pocket Walk It,” “Our Veterans Matter,” “EduGoal,” “Kabuki Co.,” and “Plato’s Pilots.”
Pitch Competition judges included Peter Abrahams, Market President and Publisher, Washington Business Journal; Kristina Bouweiri, President and CEO, Reston Limousine and Travel Service, Inc; and, Nick Braden, President, Custom Ink.
The winning team, Pocket Walk It, a company concerned with helping families find fun and interactive ways to create healthy lifestyles for youth, impressed the judges with their product that promotes physical activity through the use of pedometers. The members of the company included Ajaiya Thomas, Brendan Morrissey, Deema Osman, Linda Wu, Manav Sabharwal, Ryan Paul, Tian Wang, and Zachary Crumes.
Team EduGoal, a company that raises awareness for education inequality, received second place. Taking third place was team Kabuki Co., a company that emphasizes the need for educational opportunities for all military-connected children affected by mobility, transition, deployments and family separation.
The Rising Star Award, which recognizes a truly outstanding Summit participant, was presented to Anas Takrouri, a student hailing from JA of Cyprus.
As a bonus challenge, teams were tasked with creating a Custom Ink Fundraising Campaign to support a non-profit that represents their social issue. Team Our Veterans Matter, a company that supports the reintegration of our troops into our communities with proceeds benefiting Aid Our Veterans, was recognized at the Pitch Competition Awards Ceremony as the team with the most dollars raised.
The fundraisers officially close on Tuesday, July 23, so the public is encouraged to visit the fundraising pages and support a cause of their choosing:
Plato’s Pilots - American Federation of Teachers
Kabuki Co - Military Child Education Coalition
EduGoal - Jumpstart
Your Choice - Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Pocket Walk It - Partnership for a Healthier America
Our Veterans Matter - Aid Our Veterans
Junior Achievement of Greater Washington congratulates all six teams for an outstanding job and thanks our many Summit volunteers for their commitment to helping empower future entrepreneurs with the skills to succeed in the future.