August 15, 2023– This summer, British Columbia youth in both Nelson and the Vancouver area participated in a week-long JABC Summer Start-Up Camp. With the guidance of seasoned business volunteers and other supporters, these high school students learned business concepts and the essential skills to launch their own start-ups.
Topics included corporate social responsibility, marketing, venture funding, creating a business model canvas, developing an effective presentation, and more.
Vancouver (July 10-14)
“The JABC start-up program provided transformative experiences through connections with new friends and experienced mentors. It was an eye-opening experience to be surrounded by a diverse group of individuals who brought unique perspectives and experiences to the table.”
-Vancouver student Shannier Huang
Hosted at the TELUS Garden offices, volunteer mentors were Kelly Edmison, founder of PenderFund Capital Management, and Temi Oyapero, fashion entrepreneur and UBC Master’s student.
Temi Oyapero, said, “Witnessing their unwavering confidence as [the students] passionately pitched their vision, guided by the exceptional mentorship of the JABC Team, fills me with profound honour and gratitude. I am truly privileged to be a part of this remarkable initiative that nurtures the charismatic leaders of tomorrow.”
The week culminated in a five-minute business pitch to a panel of accomplished judges. Ideas presented by the students included:
- Hola Canada: A service that connects Latin American newcomers with support in their immigration process.
- OHhype: A video streaming service that caters to seniors and provides sitcoms with higher resolution and quality.
- Pawsome Foods: A monthly dog subscription box that caters to sick and elderly dogs.
- X-Treme Vision: Glasses with lights for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.
- Fashion Finders: An app and e-commerce site that connects people with sustainable fashion garments and provides AI-generated style recommendations.
In addition to the volunteers, three judges evaluated the pitches: Elena Do, Karl Burkat, and Gabby Gill. There was also a special guest speaker, Steven Banick from TELUS.
The students appreciated the camp and the mentorship provided by staff, volunteers and judges. Student David Zhu said, “This camp has not only ignited my passion for business but has also equipped me with the tools and mindset to pursue my entrepreneurial ambitions confidently.”
Nelson (July 31-August 4)
“The thing I liked the most about this program was that it exposed me to a bunch of different business owners and potential investors and taught me a lot of stuff about business that I would need to know if I wanted to create my own business. It was worth it and I would recommend it to everyone else!”
-Nelson student Kail
JABC hosted the Nelson camp at the Kootenay Association for Science and Technology (KAST). Six highly engaged mentors provided guidance to 13 participants. The program was a success with youth attending from across the West and East Kootenays.
Camp participant Benjamin said, “I loved the camp. It was great. It definitely gave me a lot of skills that I previously didn’t have. I would absolutely do it again!”
Through JA’s real-world skill-building programs, students learn about the risks and rewards of business and cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset. Learn more about JA’s flagship 16-week program for high school students, JA Company Program, at jabc.org/companyprogram.