Kaunas is proud of being one of the host cities and presenting itself as a capital of technologies! It is investing not only in the present but also in the future! The international Student Company Trade Fair “Innovative Business 2018” is being hosted for the third time in Kaunas, gathering the most enterprising students from all of Europe. It is a part of the Junior Achievement (JA) Marketplace events that became an excellent tradition across Europe.
The First Place Winners of the JA Marketpalce event @kaunieciams.lt

Kaunas has been chosen for this event because it has a vibrant JA teachers' community and has acted proactively, even encouraged the JA office to organise this event. The community has gathered a big partners' pool: the Kaunas municipality, local universities, JA Alumni, businesses and schools, which makes a big team of organisers. It is important to mention the volunteers who usually are still school students or JA alumni - who are irreplaceable support of the event.

This Fair is an opportunity for Lithuania to welcome talented young entrepreneurs across Europe, encourage cross-border cooperation and present the heritage and culture of the Lithuanian business and education community. Such events facilitate new partnerships, friendships and most important - relationships for future cooperation in any field of students and teachers' lives.

Lithuanian teams were successful this year and presented many innovative solutions. We see students focus on sustainability and technology innovations, like creating goods from second hand materials or upgrading the products with smart online solutions.

International teams have also brought many innovative business ideas and products, services starting from businesses focused on aid and philanthropy. For instance, a young entrepreneur from Denmark was producing eco toothbrushes and his plan is to donate the profit earned to the education programmes for cleaning the teeth for kids in China. We see that doing good by doing well is a new normal formula for business nowadays.

The first place winners were the mini-company "MonKey", creating smart key chains that link to their mobile application to help you easily find lost keys, from Šiauliai Janonis Gymasium were awarded by the family of Gudišauskai and received a prize of 500 euro.

The second-place winners were from Alytus St. Benedict's Gymnasium and have been awarded by the e-commerce company Adeo Web. The team that developed platforms for mobile applications won 300 euros.

The third place was won by guests from Latvia, who produce stylish and youthful waterproof duvets. The Topo group awarded them and their teacher for 200 euros.

The Innovative company award was chosen and awarded by Inoserta. The potential of innovativeness was seen in the Alytus Putinas Gymnasium School team, which creates special glasses. For the most professional image, Šiauliai team "MonKey" has been awarded by the "Information Technology Training Centre".

The most profitable mini-company was KTU Engineering Lyceum students company "K.A.V.A.", engaged in coffee production. They were noticed and rewarded by the Kaunas Business Managers' Club.

The "Bravest Business Idea" nomination was awarded to the mini-company from Kaunas Veršuviai Gymnasium producing calendars, which with the help of QR codes help to train and systematically prepare for the upcoming examinations. The nomination for this and for the best B2B (business for business) nominees was established by the Chamber of Industry, Commerce and Crafts of Kaunas. The winners of the latest nomination have become the "Make It Simple" mini-company from Alytus St. Benedict's Gymnasium, which has been developing a platform for mobile applications.

In preparation for the Junior Achievement International Trade Fair teams were invited to provide promotional videos. The Italian mini-company "Sayonara Problems" was awarded for the best Video Ad. The readers of Verslo Žinios has voted as well and recognised the team "Help at Need" from Kaunas Juozas Grušas Gymnasium, which is developing a mobile program that helps elderly or disabled people to invite volunteers who will help them.

The team "Help at Need" was awarded for the "Best Solution of Customers' Problem" by the Lithuanian Junior Achievement patron SEB Bank.

The VU Kaunas Faculty has established the best business communication prize. The winners were Stercas - Kaunas LMSU Gymnasium, which produces compact boxes, which make municipal waste compost. The Startup Potential Award went to "Cocosmile" from Sweden, producing organic toothbrushes and teeth whitening powders, awarded by the bank Luminor.

The idea of ​​the most creative business has become "TraveList" from Jonava Jeronimas Ralis Gymnasium, which produces jumpers with maps where you can paint in visited countries. The prize was awarded to them by the "Association of Industrialists and Employers of Kaunas Region".

The "ECbooks" mini-company from the President Valdas Adamkus Gymnasium was awarded by Swedbank for socially responsible business practice. "EC books" produces educational books for children aged 5-10.

The National Favorited Award was won by the Kaunas Solar Gymnasium mini-company "Kukarda", which produces handcrafted accessories that reflect different ethnographic regions of Lithuania. The award was established by advertising company Adikopas. The Technologically Advanced award went to the LSMU Gymnasium team "Stercus" for the second time, they were noticed by representatives of KTU Start-up Space.

Scandagra has established the Eco-Friendly nomination, which was awarded to mini-company "The Second Touch" from Kaunas Kovo 11 Gymnasium in Lithuania, for creating leather ornaments from recycled materials. Students also include people with disabilities in their activities, thus helping them to socialize.

During the event "Energy Distribution Operator - ESO" established nomination called "For the Best Energy". This nomination met the girls' team from Danish "IConnect" mini-company, a mobile application that offers information on events taking place in your city. "These girls create an innovative idea that will facilitate people's lives, believe in their ideas, develop them and, most importantly, work team-based, and these are the values ​​of our employees who work and work on behalf of their clients every day," commented a member of the Energy distribution operator social responsibility project manager Justinas Petkus.

The biggest "Export potential Award" established by UPS goes to the mini-company "DK Vacuum Tube Audio Design" from Kaunas "Saulė" Gymnasium, which produces vacuum sound amplifiers.

The global team was selected by the ISM Economics and Management University. The winners were HandySac from Latvia.

Very briefly about the JA Marketplace. It offers an opportunity to JA secondary school student companies to show off their innovative ideas and sell their products and services in a public setting. It is also an opportunity to meet young people from other countries, their teachers and business volunteers.

Under our flagship JA Company Programme students find out what it is really like to set up and run a business. Delivered across an academic year, young people make all the decisions about their company, from raising the initial share capital through to designing their product or service to selling directly to customers and ultimately registering their company and paying their taxes. All this takes place with the support of a business adviser who brings a wealth of business knowledge and expertise to the team and the support of a teacher who facilitates the learning-by-doing process.

JA programmes this year are reaching their culmination, we are heading to the final Trade Fair on May 11th in Vilnius. During it, we will welcome over 50 young mini enterprises, coming from all over the Lithuania! We will also start the Youth Empowered tour, an event focused on the self-awareness of young people.

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