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High School Students Pitch Business Ideas at JABC Innovation Jam 2016

Vancouver, British Columbia – January 19, 2016 – On Monday, January 18, 2016, 116 high school students from across British Columbia came together at the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel in downtown Vancouver for a day of innovative thinking and business competition at the JA British Columbia (JABC) third annual Innovation Jam.

JABC Innovation Jam 2016 challenged and inspired grade 11 and 12 students to think about creating the innovative business of tomorrow. This exciting day of competition brought 20 school teams together to develop and pitch their business ideas that would solve real-world social or environmental problems. Students first participated in an innovation workshop led by Joanna Buczkowska-McCumber, Managing Director, The Next Big Thing (TNBT), and received coaching from BC business professionals and entrepreneurs. They then pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges, and three finalists were selected to move onto the final round of judging for the Grand Prize title to be announced in the spring..

The three finalist teams of JABC Innovation Jam 2016 are:
  • North Peace Secondary
    Company: Secure Ventures
    Product: Preventing distracted driving – an application that disables hand usage of cell phones while vehicle is in driving mode
  • Kelowna Secondary
    Company: Gardening to Give
    Product: Home Grown – a biodegradable gardening subscription box that delivers local seeds and plants to homes
  • Vernon Secondary
    Company: Medi-Band
    Product: a medical bracelet that allows the wearer access to his/her personal medical records on a centralized database during emergencies

The Grand Prize winning team will be celebrated in June at Celebrate JA! awards ceremony or at a regional JA celebration event.

JABC was pleased to welcome the Honourable Coralee Oakes, Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch who gave opening remarks in the afternoon program. The keynote address was delivered by Daniel Dubois, Founder and CEO of ShareShed, and a presentation was made by Reid Robinson, Social Media Business Strategist, Hootsuite.

JABC Innovation Jam gives high school students an opportunity see how innovation in business can have a positive impact on society. It also provides a platform for students to develop teamwork, creativity, critical thinking, networking and presentation skills and a number of other 21st century skills critical to success in today’s business world.

All student pitches will be posted on the JABC YouTube channel for a voting contest from January 20th, 9:00 a.m. to January 22, 9:00 a.m., and student teams will undertake a 48-hour social media campaign to generate the most “likes” for their business idea. The winning video pitch will receive the People’s Choice Award. Follow JABC’s YouTube channel to view and vote for the social enterprise of your choice.

JABC Innovation Jam 2016 is grateful to the following partner and sponsors for making this event possible:


Participating Teams:

A.R. MacNeill Secondary

Belmont Secondary

Britannia Community Secondary

Burnaby North Secondary

Correlieu Secondary

David Thompson Secondary

Duchess Park Secondary

Georges P. Vanier Secondary

Kelowna Secondary

Kwantlen Park Secondary

Lake City Secondary

Mount Douglas Secondary

North Peace Secondary

Rockridge Secondary

St. John’s School

Sa-Hali Secondary

Semiahmoo Secondary

Steveston-London Secondary

Vernon Secondary

Windsor Secondary

Social Media: Twitter: @JA_of_BC   #JABCJam   |   YouTube: JABritishColumbia-JABC

Photos of the event:

Video of Shaw TV Vancouver coverage of the event

For more information, please contact:

Annie Ko
Manager, Marketing & Communications | 604.688.3887 x. 231
JA British Columbia

About JA British Columbia

JA British Columbia (JABC) is a member of JA Canada who is a member of JA Worldwide (JA), the world’s largest not-for-profit organization dedicated to educating young people about business. Since 1955, British Columbia schools have relied on JA to inspire and prepare youth to succeed in an ever-changing global economy. In 2015, over 35,000 students in BC benefited from JABC programs delivered free of charge by volunteers from local business communities, who bring real-life experience into the classroom. JABC programs focus on work readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurship, giving students the confidence and skills they need to become the next generation of business and community leaders. Visit for more information.