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.

BLAEDC – Brainerd Lakes Economic Development Corporation is a sponsor of our entrepreneurship program. They provide support directly through funding, networking, and community expertise. Their programs and services and can help developing companies that want to grow locally beyond the scope of this course. 

JA Company Program Login

- Username = firstname.lastname (case sensitive)

- Password = Password123! 

- Reset password option if you've used the system before

Youth Entrepreneurs Form - Register to connect with a network of student entrepreneurs

Junior Achievement Logo

- Junior Achievement provides a large amount of the curriculum for this course and helps facilitate community speakers and funding. We want to recognize their support by adding their logo to our company social media and/or website. Add one of the logos below to your social media account and/or website. You may choose to include a message like “Powered by…” or “In Partnership with …”. Show me when this is completed.

Logo 1

Logo 2


JA Access Point - Use this site as a resource to help with different aspects of running your company and to find opportunities for connections and partners. 

Starting a Business, MN Department of Employment and Economic Development

A Guide to Starting a Business in Minnesota

Square - An easy to use platform for payment processing and deliveries

Meeting 1 - Start a Business


Milestone Chart

I, Me, My & Company Structure 

Business Teams - You can form your own companies under these conditions.

Team Building Activity

- 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

SYOB Strengths, Weaknesses, & Goals (pg. 12-15) (Start Your Own Business, Sixth Edition: The Only Startup Book You'll Ever Need)

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. 

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

The Challenge - Vision Wall 15 Pts

Create a vision wall using these instructions.

business meeting

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 (or section w/ smaller class) to read. You may have to look back for context. After everyone has read their page, we will do the following:

Flip to the Startup Costs Worksheet on pg. 172 & 173. This will be a good reference for the future. 


Meeting 2 - Fill a Need

Agenda - *Note: We are not narrowing ideas yet

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 2020

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

"What if ..." 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 (or four) different stations designed to ignite and fuel your creativity. You will be at each station for about 15 minutes and rotate in order. Your team will randomly get a station number to start on. 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 (In Front)

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 plastic (fast or slow), so make sure the pen is on that setting. Please don't waste the plastic just to switch the color.

The pens work best when you anchor the plastic when drawing. You can draw on paper or masking tape on paper. The plastic will try to stick to surfaces if left on too long. Press the buttons once to start and stop. 

*Disclaimer - I may take some pictures

**Caution - The ends and tips can get hot, please be careful & responsible 


Station 2 - SYOB Ch 3 Good Idea (By Bookshelf)

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 eight 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

Station 3 - Disruptus Game (By Superheroes Posters)

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 or Judge's Choice (roll again). The team with the most points at the end of the time period wins. 

Disruptus Game Manual

Alternate Play:

You will play individually against members of your team. Using the disruptus cards, as a class we will rotate through the create, improve, transform, and disrupt scenarios. Each group will start with a set of cards (number of people x 2) and we will switch decks after a few rounds. After each round, you will need to vote on the best idea and decide who scores. 

Station 4 - Ideate (By Infographic Posters)

Work with your team to come up with individual and shared company ideas. Every company member should have three or more ideas they can share with the group. 

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

Apparel or merchandise ideas, how will your product be different than what is already available?

Station X - Makedo Cardboard Challenge

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 Google Classroom. 

Business Research Form (17 pts) CREATE SPOT FOR EACH ANSWER/RESPONSE

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 (10 pts) (screenshot/image) of your company's vote on Google Classroom.  

Part 3: Market Research

cross roads

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): 

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 Google Classroom. 

Part 4: Product Approval

Complete the Product Approval Application (10 pts) linked below and send it to me on Google Classroom. You will also send the approval application to JA, following the directions in the document. Make sure to include me (landon.brainerd@isd181.org) and our JA volunteer in the email. I will provide you with their contact information when you are ready. 

- PRODUCT APPROVAL APPLICATION - Use Kami to open and annotate this PDF

Insurance for Third Party Vendor:

Please ask the third party website to send a certificate of insurance naming JA USA and the JA of the Upper Midwest as an additional insured.

Please ask them to provide a certificate of liability and excess liability in the amounts of a minimum of $1,000,000 limit for general liability and $1,000,000 for excess liability naming JAUS and JA of the Upper Midwest as a named insured.

The address for JAUM is 1745 University Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55104. JA USA is One Education Way, Colorado Springs, CO 80906.

There should not be an additional cost to the business (GLS example Spring 2019)

Service Companies Disclaimer:

Consider potential liability issues. Service based companies may be denied based on liability concerns. 

Name Your Company

market research
google logo art

Use these resources to help name your company. 

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

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 2020

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

concept car

Meeting 4 Create a Structure 

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

Meeting 4 Documents - The task lists and supporting documents are meant to guide your team in business planning and responsibilities throughout the semester. Carefully read through your team's (eg. marketing, finance, etc.) task list. Review and reflect on the task lists and supporting documents. Login to the JA system (above) to check for updated documents and view the related tutorials. The financial workbook is one important document that will be completed and turned in. All company members should be familiar with their financial records. The task lists will be helpful in developing information for your business plan.

In class, we will look at meeting four deeper dive (start with Innovative Introduction Build, Measure, Learn) which talks about continuous innovation and lean startups. We will watch these two short videos instead of the JA video. 

Use the SYOB book as a reference while you are reviewing the task lists and creating your business plan. Chapter 10 Plan of Attack: Creating a Winning Business Plan, has information about the major sections of a business plan. 

Use this link from the SBA as a resource for writing your business plan. We are writing a shortened/condensed traditional plan and there are examples for different types of plans. 

Hopefully, you are not overwhelmed by the task lists for your team/focus area. We will be working on the lists throughout the rest of the semester. Know that in our shortened timeline, there will always be something you can be doing to help improve the success of your company. JA recommends you keep each task list updated throughout the semester, which is probably a good idea or best practice. They are for your benefit; I will not be checking them for a grade. 

The Challenge - Snapshot Business Plan


The information in the task lists and supporting documents will help in creating a short business plan. Use the rubric below to complete the Snapshot Bussiness Plan (40 pts) and send it to me on Google Classroom. The business plans should be written as a narrative, not a question/answer format. 

In the business plan, you will create a goal for a business metric. At the end of the semester, you may receive a reward for your performance on this goal. In your annual report project (final project) you will discuss how successful you were in achieving this goal and reasons for success/failure. More details about the specific business metric and calculations can be found in the rubric. 

I will check in with each company's business teams to see how things are going. 

Snapshot Business Plan Rubric 

All company members should be actively working to complete the business plan and investor pitch. Use the evaluation forms below to self-assess how you helped your team and evaluate your other company members.

Entrepreneurship - Business Plan & Investor Pitch Self Evaluation Spring 2020 - 5 Pts

Entrepreneurship - Business Plan & Investor Pitch Group/Peer Evaluation Spring 2020 - 5 Pts

Meeting 5 Launch the Business 

We will look at the resources below and talk about preparing your presentation to pitch your business idea to an investor. 

Presentation Template for Ideas - Your version would be expanded & look good

A Guide To Investor Pitch Decks For Startup Fundraising - A good resource on what to include in your presentation with examples

13 Tips on How to Deliver a Pitch Investors Simply Can't Turn Down

The Art of the Shark Tank Pitch - Stop at 5:15



The Challenge - Investor Pitch

Your company will pitch your business idea and plan to an investor (even if you are not seeking outside funding) using a visual. The visual can be a presentation or something else (pre-approval). Each business team/area (eg. finance) will create and present a section. Your pitch will be about 10 - 15 minutes (depending on class size). You will be graded on the criteria in this rubric

If you are gone for the investor pitch, you need to make arrangements to present your sections outside of the normal school day. You would be held to the same standard as if you were here. The best score you can get on the project is a 25/30 'B' and points will be reduced from there. 

All company members should be actively working to complete the business plan and investor pitch. Use the evaluation forms below to self-assess how you helped your team and evaluate your other company members.

Entrepreneurship - Business Plan & Investor Pitch Self Evaluation Spring 2020 - 5 Pts

Entrepreneurship - Business Plan & Investor Pitch Group/Peer Evaluation Spring 2020 - 5 Pts

Better Presentation Design

In class, we will check out the presentation on this site about why you are no good at using PowerPoint (or Google Slides). We will also talk about briefly about C.R.A.P. Design

crap design

Protecting Your Logo & Intellectual Property 

In class, we will watch this video (stop @ 7:11) about Trademarks, Patents, and Copyrights. The video comes from this page on the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office website. Use it as a reference and resource for more information. 

We will also look at this site about How To Copyright & Trademark a Logo. Team up with a partner and look over (deep skim) the information on the site. SKIP SPRING 2020 Create a diagram that compares/contrasts trademark and copyright. Include a recommendation on which would be the best option for your company.

Add your diagram and recommendation to this collaborative page

Meeting 6 - 11 Run the Business

Over the next 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. Add this as a shareable link on Basecamp. 

Company Updates & Tasks

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

The Challenge - Run the Company 25 pts

Over the next number of weeks, your test/project/assessment is to actively participate in running your company. You will be graded on your performance using the rubrics, forms, and information below. Just as in a company outside of this class, if someone is working hard inside and outside of school, they should get rewarded/promoted. If someone shows up every day and is constantly distracted with their computer/device, puts their head down all hour, or never does anything outside of school, they should probably be fired. 

You are working in a small company, which means your tasks may involve assisting other company teams or business areas. Each person should have a list of company tasks they are focused on for the week. Management will use the Company Updates & Tasks document (linked above) to work with business teams to coordinate and communicate focus areas for each person. 

Ask if you need help identifying tasks or goals. You can reference the JA Task Lists that were used to help write the business plan. You can ask our JA volunteer. Finally, you can utilize the industry speakers we have had in class.

Peer/Group Evaluation | 10 pts

Use the form below to evaluate and give feedback to your team members about their performance. Each week, you will evaluate each member of your company. You will receive a score based on the average of all peer evaluations for that week. If you don't evaluate each of your team members, you will not receive any peer/group evaluation points

JACP Run The Company Group/Peer Evaluation

Self-Evaluation | 10 pts

Use the form below to reflect and evaluate your own performance each week. If you don't complete a self-evaluation, you will not receive any self-evaluation points.

Run The Company Self Evaluation

Teacher Evaluation | 5 pts

You will also receive a performance evaluation from Mr. Brainerd based on observational analysis of collaboration, behaviors, productivity, and other metrics. 

Evaluations should not be completed until the end of your block day. All evaluations for the week must be completed by the end of the school day on Friday. This doesn't mean during class when we are actively working. 

The rubrics and this process may evolve throughout the semester.  LOOK AT ANNUAL REPORT EXPECTATIONS



Finance Meeting

business working

SYOB Part 8: Profit - Ch 37 to Ch 41

Use the book as a reference for financial and accounting information. Content includes bookkeeping (tracking & managing revenue & expenses), creating financial statements, managing and analyzing finances (markup, break-even, budgets, etc.), paying yourself & employees, and tax information. 

The financial workbook included with the JA curriculum is a helpful tool and the SYOB material listed above will help you maximize it's potential. 

Your financial information will help you make decisions as you run your business and it will be an important part of your annual report project.

Marketing Meeting

JA Learning Suite

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. Spring 2019, we will watch the HBS milkshake video and the intro to the 4P's. 

SYOB Market (Ch 29 Branding, Ch 30 Advertising, Ch 31 Promotion & Public Relations)

Grab a copy of SYOB from the back of the room. We will use your book to highlight a few key points about marketing. Make sure to reference these chapters for additional information. 

Branding - 

Use this link to go to Socrative and enter BRAINERDA220 as the room number. We will test your branding knowledge with a checklist survey. Think about the questions from the perspective of your JACP companies. 

What is branding? Look at the section Branding is a promise on page 451 in your books. We will also look at the three steps to creating a branding strategy on page 452 & 453. 

Marketing - 

How can positioning and SWOT be used to start our marketing plan? We'll look at page 459 in your book to learn more about these concepts. 

Team up with one or two people from your JACP company. Choose a company (one that is not already taken). Using the information we just covered, perform a basic SWOT analysis of the company you chose (have two items in two areas, like opportunities, and one in the rest). For the same company, decide what quadrant they would be in based on the attributes of quality and price. Finally, how can this be applied to your own JACP company? Add your response and group members to this collaborative page. Be ready to share.

Finally, as a class, we will look at and talk about the five fundamentals of successful ads found on page 465 & 466 in your book. 

Again, be sure to look at the chapters listed above for information on how to best leverage other marketing tools (eg. public relations, has any company contacted a local newspaper or radio for a news story). 


Sales Meeting


We will use the JA sales meeting to cover key sales concepts. Use this rubric SKIP 2019 to up your sales game. Elevator Pitch Collaboration - SKIP SPRING 2019

Spring 2019

We will talk about transaction vs relationship selling and some examples from the JA sales interactive site (slide 9).

SYOB Ch 31 Sell It! - Pg. 526 - 529, & 542

Team up with a partner and create a mindmap with seven key points you learned from the sections above (Coggle, Poplet, ect.). Add your mind map with your names to this collaborative page (2nd, 3rd). 

Find a partner (or two if there are odd numbers) and choose a product based business. Using the information you learned, create a sales pitch for that company. The pitch should be one minute or less. Groups will be randomly picked to give their sales pitch. This link, 3-Part Formula For A Winning Sales Pitch, may help in developing your sales pitch. 


Supply Chain/Operations Meeting


Do you have a mind palace? Together in class, we will check out the first part of this video on how to improve your memory. 

SYOB Ch 19 Stock Answers: The Lowdown on Inventory

Grab one or two friends and a copy of your SYOB book. As a team,  look over (deep skim) different parts of chapter 19. Apply the memory technique we learned about to retain seven concepts from the chapter. Use the high school or grounds as your mind palace or space for these mental images if you can. Come up with extreme visuals. Five of the concepts should come from the inventory information (one concept per section) and two concepts should be from the supplier information. Add your concepts to this collaborative page (2nd, 3rd). Each group will share one or two concepts. I'll give one example using computerized inventory control on pg. 271. 


Meeting 12 - Liquidation & Annual Report


Collaborative Page (2nd, 3rd)

Financial Workbook

Sales Tax Info

Together with our JA volunteer, we will use the JA Learning Suite to learn about the liquidation process. If you want the company to continue on, some company members may choose to buy out the remaining inventory (or other company members). 

Use the information in the document above if you need to account for sales tax. Also, don't forget to factor in interest repayment on your loan. You will send a check for your loan amount once we get a breakdown of interest and principal. Finally, once all payments have been settled, you will close your company's bank account. 

annual report

We will 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. Look at this site for ways to tell a compelling story. Infographics can be used to make data visual. We will look at some engaging annual report examples from this site. Facebook produces a webcast each quarter to highlight their financial data and performance. Here is an example JACP annual report. Your version will include additional components. 

The Challenge - Annual Report Project

Use this rubric demonstrate your accomplishments through this annual report project. The annual report and financial workbook will be sent to our local JA office as well. 

Annual Report Peer Evaluation - 10 pts

Use the Entrepreneurship - JACP Run The Company Group/Peer Evaluation V2 form to evaluate each of your company members on their performance during this project. This should be completed when all other components are finished. If you don't evaluate each of your team members, you will not receive any peer/group evaluation points.




Personal Action Plan

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

Personal Action Plan

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. 


Complete these surveys to provide feedback to Junior Achievement (need to be done).

JACP Post-Program : https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3PGVSQH

JACP Year End Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/F588FZM