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Kelowna Secondary School wins JABC Innovation Jam 2016 Grand Prize

Photo: Team “Gardening to Give” from Kelowna Secondary, with Jan Bell-Irving, President & CEO, JABC (centre-left), and the Hon. Coralee Oakes, Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction (centre-right)

2016 Innovation Jam

Vancouver, British Columbia – March 7, 2016 – JA British Columbia (JABC) is pleased to announce that Kelowna Secondary School has been chosen Grand Prize Winner in the JABC Innovation Jam 2016. The student team’s winning business concept was Gardening to Give, a biodegradable gardening subscription box that would deliver local seeds and plants to homes.

JABC Innovation Jam 2016 brought together 116 Junior Achievement high-school students from 20 schools across British Columbia to downtown Vancouver to develop innovative business ideas that would solve real-world social or environmental problems. School teams pitched their ideas to a panel of judges consisting of local business leaders and professionals, who then selected three finalists for advancement to the final judging round. Business ideas were evaluated based on their impact, originality, feasibility and scalability.

The Kelowna team of five students (Claire DeMug, Jeremy Gagné, Claudia Lauretta, Jordan MacDonald and Domonique Murdoch) was selected from three finalist teams by an external panel of judges from the entrepreneurial community. The panel deemed Gardening to Give the best innovative business idea that would solve a real-world social and environmental problem.

Teacher Ray Kletke of Kelowna Secondary expresses his excitement about his students’ win of the competition. “These students have truly embodied the spirit of entrepreneurship. By crafting and pitching an ingenious business idea as a team in a highly competitive and time-restricted environment, they captured the essence of this amazing JABC Innovation Jam event! They’re remarkable students who deserve to be proud of this accomplishment!”

The other two finalist teams were:

  • 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
  • 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

All twenty student pitches were video-recorded and posted on the JABC YouTube channel on January 20-22 to compete for the People’s Choice Award. St. John’s School in Vancouver won the People’s Choice Award with 1,321 likes on their video during the 48-hour voting period. St. John’s business concept E.A.T.S. (Environmentally Advanced, Technologically Sound) was to develop headphones made of recycled materials to invest into music programs for impoverished countries.

Both winning teams will receive certificates from JABC, a venture growth coaching session from The Next Big Thing (TNBT) that helps them develop the foundations of their business concept and their roles as young  entrepreneurs, and tickets to The Next Big Thing Youth Ambassador Summer program.

View Shaw TV interview and all 20 student pitches on the JABC YouTube channel:

View photos of JABC Innovation Jam 2016.

See more information about JABC Innovation Jam 2016.

Other media:

For more information about this news release, 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, the world’s largest NGO 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. Each year, over 35,000 students in BC benefit 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.