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Team of Junior Achievement Teen Entrepreneurs from Canton, Ohio, Named “JA Company of the Year”

JA of East Central Ohio Teens Competed with Students from 14 other JA Student Companies to Win National Title

Colorado Springs, Colo.—On Wednesday, June 19th, in Washington, D.C., the teen entrepreneurs of Simple Starters, representing Junior Achievement of East Central Ohio, were selected from among 15 JA student companies as the JA Company of the Year while at Junior Achievement's (JA) 2019 National Student Leadership Summit (NSLS).

In addition to winning the JA Company of the Year title, the Canton teens representing the first-place student company were each awarded a $2,500 JA Company of the Year Scholarship. To the five students representing the second-place team, all were awarded $1,000 scholarships and $500 scholarships were awarded to each of the five students representing the third-place team. All scholarships were awarded by the Achievement Foundation.

Junior Achievement's National Student Leadership Summit is a contest of business skills, ingenuity, and innovation that focuses on the accomplishments of the U.S. JA Company Program ® students, ages 15-19, during the 2018-2019 academic year. Currently reaching more than 10,000 U.S. students who created over 500 start-up ventures, JA Company Program students start and run a real business enterprise under the guidance of a volunteer from the local business community. They devise and market a product or service that fills an unmet consumer need and recruit investors for their company.

The student companies competing at the NSLS were assessed on their financial performance, individual team members' personal and professional development, a self-produced commercial about their product or service, their team's live presentation to a panel of business leaders, and on their company's performance at an Entrepreneurship Expo on Capitol Hill attended by Members of Congress.  

"Junior Achievement is empowering these teen entrepreneurs to own their economic success through business proprietorship. It is an exciting opportunity for Junior Achievement students to demonstrate the teamwork, leadership, and innovative thinking that will help them drive success in the business world," said Jack E. Kosakowski, president and chief executive officer of Junior Achievement USA.

The following awards were presented last week during ceremonies at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, capping the three-day summit in Washington, DC. The 2019 JA National Student Leadership Summit awards that were presented include:

  • JA Company of the Year: Awarded to the student businesses that most effectively demonstrated their companies' achievements, as well as the personal development of each team member.
  • Simple Starters from JA of East Central Ohio (Canton, OH)

  • Pure Serenity from JA of South Florida (Fort Lauderdale, FL)

  • Denim2Denim – JA of Southeastern Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)

  • Delta Social Impact Award: Awarded to the student team that created a solution to address a local, national, or global social concern.
  • Filtair USA from JA of Northern New England


  • EY Innovation Award: Awarded to the student team that effectively demonstrated how their product, service, strategy, or process is an innovative solution to an existing problem. The award recipient proved to entail aspects of creativity, impact, scalability, and lessons learned throughout their business endeavor.  
  • Filtair USA from JA of Northern New England

  • FedEx Access Award: Awarded to the student team with the best business plan demonstrating potential for job creation, growing small business, and expanding global development.
  •  Hydrope from JA of Northern California

  • ICE NYSE Foundation Best Financial Performance Award: Awarded to the student team that demonstrated the best financial results, including profitability, investor expectations, employee earnings, product quality, leadership, and operational efficiency.
  • Simple Starters from JA of East Central Ohio

To view photos and videos from the JA National Student Leadership Summit, please visit

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