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JA Company Program

Junior Achievement is a national program focused on providing young people with entrepreneurial and financial programs that develop knowledge and skills for future economic success. We will be using their JA Company Program as our main curriculum throughout the semester.

- Username = firstname.lastname (case sensitive)
- Password = JAcp19#
- Reset password option if you've used the system before

business meeting

Meeting 1 - Start a Business

Business Teams - Primary & secondary, student input vote (~70%) USE DIFFERENT NAMES FOR EACH COMPANY NEXT YEAR
- Even groups of 4 or 5 (5 pt? deduction for extra members)
- Can work as a whole group (different than video's limit of 2)
- Keep it PG
- Same rules, scoring, and timing (5 min) as the video

Meeting 1 - Deeper Dive

We'll use the JA learning suite to hear advice from a serial entrepreneur, review entrepreneurship myths, and learn about visioning.  

Grab a copy of SYOB from the back of the room. We'll look at a small section on finding strengths and weaknesses and goal setting. 

The Challenge - Vision Wall 20 pts

Create a vision wall using these instructions.

SYOB Fund Ch 12 (pg. 166-179 ), Ch 13 (pg. 182-189 ), & Part of 14 (pg. 192-204 )

Grab a copy of SYOB from the back of the room. As a large group, we will participate in lightning learning. Each person will be given a page to read. You may have to look back for context. After everyone has read their page, we will do the following:
  1. Add at least three key points and a related visual to this collaborative page (2nd, 3rd).
  2. Very quickly (15 sec. or less), everyone will share out the most important piece of information from your page (in page order).
  3. In your company teams, use the information that was shared and the collaborative page to discuss which types of funding you plan to explore. Add your temporary company name and your initial plan for funding on the collaborative page above (5 min). 
Flip to the Startup Costs Worksheet on pg. 172 & 173. This will be a good reference for the future. 

Meeting 2 - Fill a Need

Collaborative pages: 2nd Hour (#1, #2), 3rd Hour (#1, #2, #3)

Design Thinking E.D.I.P.T. - Define

Using the design thinking method, we need to define problems that our company can solve. In class, we'll look at some example products (no gps though) and talk about the problems they solve. 

With a partner, find three innovative or creative products and add them to this collaborative page. We'll talk about these as a group. 

In his book, The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferris talks about finding a niche market by first focusing on the groups you belong to. 

Practice - SKIP SPRING 2019

In your groups (based on similar interests in ....) you will generate list of problems your company can solve. As a class, our goal is to have a list of 100 or more problems. The group that generates the biggest list of legitimate problems will earn a reward. Create a Google Doc for your list that can be shared with the group. "And may the odds be ever in your favor." 

Add your list of company problems to this collaborative page.

Ideation (Brainstorming) Stations

Today, we want to continue to generate ideas for our company (favor quantity over quality). Get together with your company team. In class, you will rotate through three different stations designed to ignite and fuel your creativity. You will be at each station for about 15 minutes. Hopefully, you find some inspiration from the stations, and we will end with time for you talk about new ideas with your company members (use the collaborative pages above). 

Station 1 - 3Doodler 3D Pen

Use the 3D pens to experiment with product designs and creation. Use your creativity and have fun. There are seven pens, so you will have to share space and resources. Use the links below for help and guidance. Right now we are only using the ABS & FLEXY plastic, so make sure the pen is on that setting. 

The pens work best when you anchor the plastic when drawing. You can draw on plastic templates, paper, or masking tape on paper. The plastic will try to stick to paper and the plastic template if left on too long. 

*Disclaimer - I may take some pictures for the grant
**Caution - The ends and tips can get hot, please be careful & responsible 

Station 2 - Disruptus Game

You will play a quick round of the game Disruptus. We will watch part of the video to the left (0:34 - 2:30) to get an overview of how to play. You will form teams of two people (three if there is an odd person). One team each round will be the Judge (changes clockwise after the round). The Judge will roll the dice, set the timer (one minute), and decide on the winner (gets one point) of the round. Players will use scratch paper to draw/describe their solution based on the dice rolled. Due to time, we are not using the Players Choice (roll again). The team with the most points at the end of the time period wins. 

mind map
Station 3 - SYOB Ch 3 Good Idea

Grab a copy of SYOB from the back of the room. Team up with one other person and look over (deep skimming) chapter three. A mind map is a way to visually represent and connect information. Once you have absorbed information from the chapter, create a mind map with nine key takeaways (ideas, info., etc.). Also, add two or more related images. You can use Coggle, Popplet, Google Drawing, or something else to create the mind map. 

Add your mind map as an image with your name/s to this collaborative page (2nd, 3rd). 

Brainstorming should lead to top three ideas on collaborative page for our JACP meeting next week. Make sure to add/share your ideas. This is your opportunity to make your voice heard. 

Meeting 3 - Vet the Venture

The Challenge - Vet, Vote, Research, Application

Part 1: Vet Top Business Ideas & Share Results

Use the document below to begin researching and vetting your top business ideas. Break up into smaller groups within your company to tackle different ideas. This document needs to be completed for the idea your company ultimately chooses. You will send the document to me on Schoology. 

Business Research Form Meeting Three (15 pts) (Use as a reference, answer on a new page or doc)

Add completed research forms to the collaborative pages from Meeting 2 (linked above). Use the results to help determine your top business idea. 

Part 2: Company Vote

Each company will create a Google Form with their top business ideas. After ideas have been vetted, company members will vote on the final business idea. You will send me the results (5 pts) (screenshot/image) of your company's vote on Schoology.  

Part 3: Market Research

market research
Now you have an idea, use market research to gather data that will support (or refute) your plan. 

SYOB Practicing Nichecraft pg. 70 - 73 - We will use your SYOB book to talk about target markets and finding your niche.
4HWW Testing the Ad pg. 184 - We will jump ahead in our book and talk about research/exploratory testing.
SYBO Ch 7 - Use this chapter as a resource for information on secondary and primary market research.

Choose one of the three options below to conduct your market research (20 pts): 
  • Complete a one page data-driven report using secondary market research.
  • Conduct primary market research (focus group, survey/questionnaire, etc.) with 20+ questions. Summarize the results in a half-page report with results/evidence/data.
  • Contact and interview an industry expert relevant to your product idea. Use them as a resource to complete your research and see that the ideas are viable. The report should include evidence from the interview and should be at least a half-page in length. 
Regardless of your method, the report should include your research and summarizes why your company should invest or divest in that product idea. Send your report and results to me on Schoology. 

Part 4: Product Approval

Complete the Product Approval Application (10 pts) linked below and send it to me on Schoology. 

Google Docs (Old)

Name Your Company

In class, we'll watch the video above to gain some insight into naming our company. Use the resources below as you work on namestorming (SYOB term) ideas for your new business. 
  • How to Name a Business - Article from Entrepreneur Magazine/Media (publisher of SYOB) with additional information beyond what's in the video above.
  • SYOB Ch 8 The Name Game - The article and video above are an excerpt (highlights) from this chapter. Look at the chapter for more details and further explanation.
  • namelix - Need help coming up with a great name? Try using this business name generator for inspiration. 
  • How to Check Your Business Name Availability - This link from the MN Secretary of State details how to make sure your awesome business name isn't already taken. 
  • Choose Your Business Name - This link from the SBA provides ways to register and protect the name you create.

Design Thinking E.D.I.P.T. - Prototype

concept car
We've brainstormed ideas and researched their viability. Using the design thinking method, now is the time to prototype. 

We'll look at this article on how to create a prototype. For our class, the prototype might be something as simple as a sketch or drawing to something more concrete like a 3D model.

Practice - Skip Spring 2019

Prototype your business ideas. If you are using illustrations, there should be more than one 'mock up' for each idea. 

Module 4 Create a Structure 

In module four and five you will work on building the structure and business plan that will guide your company.

In class, we will look at module four deeper dive which talks about continuous innovation and lean startups. 

The Assignment

Complete the business team task list and Snapshot Bussiness Plan and send them to me on Schoology.

Module 5 Launch the Business 

We will look through the module five deeper diver presentation in class and talk about preparing your presentation to pitch your business idea to an investor. 

The Assignment

Your company will pitch your business idea and plan to an investor. Each business team will create and present a section. You will be graded on the following requirements:
  • Collaborative presentation with three to five slides from each business team
  • Clear and concise presentation content
  • Engaging presentation design (more slides, more images, & less information)
  • No copyrighted media
  • Presentation
    • Knowledge of content
    • Preparedness
    • Formal dress

Module 6 - 11 Run the Business

business working
Over the next few weeks, you will be in charge of running your business. Each week we will meet to discuss the progress of each team and tasks for the week. You will be holding each other accountable for performance. The link below will be used to guide meetings and the work that needs to be completed.

Each week we will dig deeper into specific team functions to support each group and the company as a whole.

Marketing Module

We will use the JA marketing module to cover key marketing concepts. Use this document as we watch the marketing videos in class. We will use the questions for discussion. 

Sales Module

We will use the JA sales module to cover key sales concepts. Use this rubric to up your sales game.  

Elevator Pitch Collaboration

Spring 2017
- 1 Point Extra Credit for each sweatshirt sold

Liquidation & Annual Report

We watch this video in class, which demonstrates an annual report video. Notice how they gave an overview of their company and goals and then focused on specific accomplishments. This guide on creating annual reports is a good reference. Some highlights are to focus on accomplishments, tell a story, and remember visuals and design. 

The Assignment

Use this rubric demonstrate your accomplishments through this annual report project.

Personal Action Plan

Using the knowledge/skills you've gained during this semester, complete the personal action plan linked below. 

Career  Exploration

Making a career choice is not easy, and it's important to make an informed decision. Thankfully there are tools available to help. Complete the JACP Career Exploration assignment to learn more about career options and the return on investment. 


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