On November 15, 2018, JA Company Program students Mi Hee Hashimoto Chang from Moscrop Secondary and Isabel Yang from Lord Byng Secondary School attended the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) – West at the UBC Sauder School of Business.

As part of their high-school girls program, CDL-West invites ambitious female high-school students who are curious about entrepreneurship, technology, or science-based innovation to observe a CDL session. These sessions bring together founders in early stage massively scalable, science based ventures. The program’s objective-setting methodology enhances the performance of technical founders who learn from the insights of experienced entrepreneurs, increasing their probability of success.

Each student was assigned to shadow a CDL-West Fellow or Associate, and while doing so had the opportunity to meet and observe a series of small group meetings with ventures followed by an afternoon large group discussion that focused on identifying the objectives.

Isabel Yang and Mi Hee Hashimoto Chang

Mi Hee was assigned to shadow mentor Natalie Dakers, founding president and CEO of Accel-Rx, Canada’s first health sciences accelerator, focused on company creation. “The companies we met throughout the day were all life-changing,” said Mi Hee. “From the ways that they will shape our knowledge and health, I quickly saw the way careers were promptly changing due to technology…I find it incredibly amazing… learning has never been more exciting.”

Isabel was assigned to shadow Geof Auchinleck. Geof holds 20 US patents for a wide range of medical devices and technologies. “It was an experience I would [never have received] in a high school environment, I was able to get a glimpse of our future in science,” said Isabel. “It is because of this session that I can clearly see my future in entrepreneurship.”

The CDL-West High Schools Girls Program is highly competitive to enter and gives students a better understanding of the level of knowledge, work and money required for a venture to be successful.

Mi Hee and Isabel are currently participating in the JA Company Program. Offered both in-school and after-school, the JA Company Program gives students the skills to plan and operate their own small business. Over the next five months, mentors from KPMG will work with Mi Hee and Isabel and with other members of their student Executive Team to create a product and take it to market in spring 2019.  The JA Company Program experience helped prepare Mi Hee and Isabel to enter the CDL-West High Schools Girls Program.

JA Company Programs run across the province and offers students in grades 10-12 a unique opportunity to develop and run their own entrepreneurial venture, giving them their first opportunity to become entrepreneurs. JABC is currently seeking business volunteers and companies to help host the JA Company Program.  To learn more visit https://jabc.org/companyprogram or contact Glenn.Dodge@jabc.org.