Event Info

JA Pivot & Pitch

10/28/17 JA Fall Pivot, 2/24/18 JA Spring Pivot, 4/25/18 JA Pivot & Pitch

JA Pivot & Pitch middle and high school students will learn about businesses creation and improvement through rigorous, unique, one-of-a-kind, hands-on experiences. This entrepreneurial immersion provides knowledge and tools for teams to launch businesses during the school year. The Celia Lipton Farris and Victor W. Farris Foundation has provided funding for up to 875 youth will participate with an emphasis on those socio-economically at-risk. Special mid-term "think tank" JA Pivot and year-end "shark-tank" JA Pitch events will engage the community and add excitement and rigor.

JA Pivot & Pitch is a new effort that works with proven education elements combined for the first time in a high-impact formula. At its core the initiative introduces the JA Company Program and the concepts behind the creation and operation of a real business, allowing students to put this new knowledge into action by starting their own enterprise. Their business/community volunteers provide advice and counsel, but decisions on product or service, how to design and market it, and management of records and finances, are up to the students. Students learn through their successes and failures (and solutions they design to solve them). The program will be one semester based with new companies in operation both fall and spring.

Students become engaged through schools/teachers who approve classroom placement of the JA Company Program. The program becomes part of the school day with additional meeting and activities planned for after-school. Members go through real business activities such as capitalization, electing officers, and maintaining online manufacturing, finance, and HR records; each student personally experiencing the full gamut of business activities. The JA Company launched the organization nationally 98 years ago, and its recent recreation brought it into the 21st Century including web-management tools and processes aligned with real-world companies.

Students will participate in mid-semester "JA Pivot Events" where all companies will come together to meet, participate in team-building/best-practice exercises, and take back ideas to strengthen their operation. This element is unique among all JA operations and will prove important to the companies as it comes at a point when they can "pivot" and make changes to strengthen their businesses. At the school year's end, students will present ("pitch") their business model to a panel of community business and entrepreneurship leaders who will ask them thoughtful and challenging questions, and identify the "best of the best." The top-rated JA Company Program team will move on to the annual JA National Competition in Washington, DC.