JA Start-Up Competition: A Who’s Who Interview
The School of Business means business in this years’ Junior Achievement Start-Up Competition. After winning FIRST PLACE in the main category for Top Project – the project with the greatest overall likelihood of success, and SECOND PLACE in the Top Brand category – the project with the best promotional video…the students are moving on to the final competition in phase two later this year.
What is the JA Start-Up Competition?*
The University JACzech competition spans 2 University semesters – Fall and Spring – in which time students create a business project with a team and proceed step by step according to all the necessary points to present a complete business idea at the end of the program.
The AAU Student team created their business venture, List-n-Eat, and are currently working towards completing – and competing – in the second phase of the competition. Currently, they are working full steam ahead to bring their business solution to life by creating a go-to-market strategy and executing it.
In this behind-the-scenes interview, both our student entrepreneurs and professors Heinrich Homola and Jeff Medeiros share a bit about their involvement in this highly regarded competition…
– Genevieve Flores, 2023
“My favorite part has been the connections I have made with my pairs. The CEO and I have gone on to start a club at AAU. All of us are often meeting outside of class, having a great time, and brainstorming about the business. I am very grateful for the people I have met.”
Having seen the opportunity to join the Entrepreneurship in Practice course in faculty emails, both Genevieve Flores, COO (Chief Operating Officer), and Anna Chevychalova, CEO (Chief Executive Officer) saw a way to meet many entrepreneurs and peers with the same drive and motivation as them, and be able to take part in something bigger than themselves. Alongside 6 of their peers, Genevieve and Anna jumped at the chance to gain first-hand experience in starting their own business from well-versed experts like Jeff and Heinrich:
“For my part, I have been mentoring JA’s student companies at the high school level for 13+ years now… Culminating in “my” students winning the national competition and representing the Czech Republic at last year’s European finals in Tallinn.
When the program opened up for universities, I immediately knew that I wanted to mentor university students, as the quality of their business projects would be elevated to a higher level.– Heinrich Homola, 2023
Not just as a mentor, but also with my experience from all the previous JA competitions, I’m trying to share some do’s & don’ts and to inspire thinking towards new alternatives, thus generating unique and potentially winning business propositions.”
Jeff Medeiros, in his role as leader and creator of the Entrepreneurship in Practice course, complements the knowledge Heinrich brings with his background in starting companies and having put in hard work as an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley during the .com boom:
– Jeff Medeiros, 2023
“Heinrich and I present the current ‘best practices’ associated with the topic and invite guest speakers from our network of experts to talk about how they do this in real life. The topics include idea creation, considering all aspects of the business using the Lean Canvas model, marketing and brand management, operations, team development and leadership, and financial management. Everything to create and manage a successful business/start-up. The students then apply what they learned to their new venture. In this case, a great idea: List-n-Eat.”
The List-n-Eat team is made of 8 students:
- Duc Long Bui
- Anna Chevychalova
- Rose de Bantes
- Genevieve Flores
- Nicole Gilberg
- Nada Khozheiri
- Yuliia Kondaurova
- Jan Zejdlik
Learn more about List-n-Eat here.
Having experienced the full cycle of team management in a start-up, Genevieve and Anna reflected on the key takeaways from their mentors as keeping their idea simple but strong, handling communication efforts with their partner and potential customers with the utmost importance, and lastly, understanding how each step serves a purpose.
Our AAU team will continue into this semester in the second phase of the JA Start-Up Competition and will submit their final project deliverables by May. This will include a functional final product, executed marketing tactics with experiences, and an Annual Report where they will describe all aspects of the business, including previous accomplishments, financials, and future plans, goals, and objectives.
The AAU Community is cheering for you!
Want to Get Involved?
Don’t miss out on future projects, competitions, and opportunities by contacting your School’s Dean! If you are an active entrepreneur, and especially one of our very own Anglo American Alumni, please contact the Alumni Office and they can coordinate on your behalf.
*Junior Achievement was founded in the United States in 1919 with the intention of showing school-aged students the path to creating their own businesses by actually starting their own ventures. JA provides a structured learning environment and experienced mentors to the students, and operates globally in 120 countries, reaching over 3 million students who actively participate annually. JA is proud to have been nominated in 2023 for the 2nd year in a row for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Junior Achievement (JA) Czech and JA Europe are the regional organizations, which currently have over 300 universities enrolled throughout Europe representing over 15,000 students. JA Czech, the Czech regional program is a non-profit educational organization that has been implementing a comprehensive concept of above-standard education in schools for 30 years. More than 350,000 students have graduated from JA Czech’s programs.
For more information about Junior Achievement, visit www.juniorachievement.org.
For more information about the Czech JA regional program, visit www.jaczech.org.