An idea for a business is one thing and creating a sustainable and successful business of it is quite another. The JA Europe Enterprise Challenge brings together the best student companies at the post-secondary level (aged 18 to 30) from all across Europe. The Start Up programme that feeds the participants into the Enterprise Challenge focuses on developing viable and sustainable business ideas with real investment potential—it goes beyond the basics of doing business and challenges participants to find a truly marketable product or service. 

The jury will be constituted of 6 members. The main aspect judges should look at is the Value (Financial, social or cultural) each start-up is creating and its potential to grow.

At the European level, there are 3 official stages to the competition: 

1. Start-up Pitch Deck
2. Pitch & Jury Interview
3. On-Stage Presentation

The jury will choose the winners based on the industry specialization, expertise and experience of the members. As the jury members are different every year, it is impossible to rely on a “winning pattern”. 

Age Requirements

Achievers representing their Companies in the competition must be at least 18 years old and maximum 30 years old on the date of the competition. Younger or older students may not participate in any part of the competition.

Team Requirements

The competing companies should consist of a minimum of 2 and maximum of 6 members. Requests for exception from this clause must be presented to JA Europe before the registration deadline. 

Official Language

The official language of the competition is English.

Competition Stages

1. Start-up Pitch Deck
PURPOSE: Pitch Deck is developed to explain how the start-up has worked in the past to develop their product or service, the need for future resources and how the resources will be employed to grow the company, attract a potential investor to invest in the business idea, and solicit investment in the company (if applicable).  

Download Pitch Deck guidelines and criteria here. Download model templates here.
Pitch Deck example of a real company, founded by JA Alumni. (Some sensitive information is removed). Demo and Pitch Deck example can help you to create your own Pitch deck. Creating a Pitch deck is not a science, so there are no definite right or wrong answer, but rather set of norms that investors are usually looking for.

2. Pitch & Jury Interview

PURPOSE: Demonstrate the skills to use elevator pitch for presenting the priority items of own business; demonstrate an understanding of how businesses function.

Download Pitch and Interview guidelines and criteria in PDF here

3. On-Stage Presentation
PURPOSE: Demonstrate how effective the team is in using their presentation skills to get a potential investor or partner excited about their business. The on-stage presentation also provides judges with an overview of the contestants and gives the public a short but interesting look at the companies.  Presentation should also bring some extra content compared to Pitch Deck sent earlier.

Download On-Stage Presentation guidelines and criteria in PDF here


An exhibition will allow the companies to present their business ideas in a trade-fair-like setting. This allows the judges to interact informally with the companies, ask questions, as well as give the public an opportunity to see and talk to the participants. The interviews at the stands will be the main instrument for the SIGNATURE JURIES, while the Q&A at the stands will not be considered a formal part of the judging by the MAIN JURY – this will only be a chance for the judges to ask for more information.

All time schedules will be announced a few weeks before the final and published in the welcome package.


JA Europe “Enterprise of the Year” award: 

  • Winner 
  • 2nd Place
  • 3rd Place 

Signature Award: 

While the main jury will concentrate on the investment opportunity, the signature juries, usually representing JA partner companies, will award teams for outstanding performance in different areas of entrepreneurship or business operations.  

All the results will be announced during the JA Award Ceremony.  


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