Brees Dream Foundation and Junior Achievement of North Louisiana to hold the Trust Your Crazy Ideas Challenge pitch competition

The Brees Dream Foundation and Junior Achievement of North Louisiana (JA NLA) are partnering for the 2019 Trust Your Crazy Ideas Challenge on March 6, 9 a.m. at LSU Shreveport in the Student Union Auditorium.

This regional pitch competition will feature 13 students from four Caddo Parish high schools who have completed the JA It’s My Business! in-class coursework as well as the JA Idea Accelerator Workshops, and eight, two-hour mentor-led sessions held at Cohab.

It will be followed immediately by a Reception and Awards Lunch in the LSUS Ballroom. Tables of eight are $400 and tickets are $40.  Purchase your tickets on  JA NLA website   or by Email RSVP@JANLA.org Questions: 318-469-8669.

The Trust Your Crazy Ideas Challenge is a partnership between the Brees Dream Foundation and the four Junior Achievement area offices in Louisiana.  It is an entrepreneurial competition for high school students that completed the JA It’s My Business! coursework and qualifying business plan. 

Through this program, JA mentors teach young people the nuances of innovation, as well as starting and running a business in a competitive, high-tech marketplace.  Students are asked to come up with a “crazy idea” for a business or product innovation and The TYCIC gives them the skills to take it to the State level- for a chance at $10,000!  They prepare for their pitch by making a series of business-related decisions using problem-solving, critical thinking, and business strategy skills while working as part of a team.

The first place team in the regional challenge wins $5,000 in continuing education funds, their school, $2,500 and the 2nd and 3rd place teams each receive $2,500. The regional winner will compete against JA-Brees TYCIC winners from Greater New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Lafayette to kick off New Orleans Entrepreneurs Week on March 25. 

“By focusing on education, economics, and youth development, JA programs contribute to the vitality of our community and the availability of a well-educated workforce. The JA-Brees Trust Your Crazy Idea Challenge is not judged on developing an idea that can come to fruition — it is an educational program that teaches young people the components of entrepreneurship. In the future when they have an idea, they will know they can be an entrepreneur. This program creates an entrepreneurial brain in participants and gives them the tools they need to succeed,” said Nita Cook, JA president and executive director.

“Being an entrepreneur is about believing in yourself, and being passionate about your dreams” said Drew Brees, co-founder of The Brees Dream Foundation.  “And I’m passionate about young people having access to the tools they need to make their dreams come true.  Not everyone can play in the NFL, but anyone with smarts, drive and focus can build a business.  I’m proud to partner with JA to help inspire kids to get in the driver’s seat of their futures.” 

“The JA-Brees TYCIC is one of the best ways to help young people understand entrepreneurship. By simulating the transformation of their ‘crazy ideas’ into a viable company, mentors help students explore the possibility of starting their own business,” said Julie Gilley, senior business analyst for the Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program and JA Board of Directors. “This program is teaching the next generation about the importance of economic development in their community.”

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