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Lo-K8 wins FedEx Junior Business Challenge

September 21, 2017

MEMPHIS, Tenn.- On Wednesday at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta ahead of the PGA TOUR's TOUR Championship, which will crown the 2017 FedExCup Champion, teen entrepreneurs Lo-K8 from southwest New England won the inaugural FedEx Junior Business Challenge for their original business concept – receiving a $75,000 donation from FedEx to further support youth entrepreneurship.

Through its PGA TOUR sponsorship, FedEx teed off the FedEx Junior Business Challenge earlier this year in conjunction with JA (Junior Achievement) Worldwide to help empower the next generation of entrepreneurs. More than 15 JA student companies from five PGA TOUR tournament cities – Houston, Jacksonville, Hartford, Akron and Atlanta – pitched original businesses at qualifying events throughout the 2016-17 PGA TOUR season. Judging panels comprised of business leaders and PGA TOUR players selected one JA student company from each qualifying event to compete in the FedEx Junior Business Challenge finals at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta for chance to generate a $75,000 donation from FedEx to their local JA chapter. 

The judging panel for the FedEx Junior Business Challenge finals included PGA TOUR player Patrick Reed, two-time Super Bowl champion and Georgia resident Hines Ward, Director of Citizenship and Reputation Management for FedEx Jenny Robertson, owner of Dream Beard and FedEx Small Business Grant Recipient Ryan Lane, and Vice President of Connections, Investments and Assets for The Coca-Cola Company Peggy Loos. Each of the five JA student companies pitched their business to the judging panel and were evaluated on their presentation, content, visual aids and connectivity to either innovation, sustainability, job creation or trade. 

Lo-K8 impressed the judges with their Bluetooth-enabled device that helps track small, commonly lost items such as keys, sunglasses and more.

"Small businesses and entrepreneurship are paramount to FedEx, and the FedEx Junior Business Challenge has served as an incredible platform to showcase some of the brilliant minds that will make up the next generation of business leaders," said Jenny Robertson. "We're proud of our continued collaboration with JA Worldwide through the FedEx Cares global giving initiative to inspire an optimistic future for small business and entrepreneurship. The JA students that participated in the FedEx Junior Business Challenge reinforce we're heading in the right direction."

Since 1996, FedEx has donated more than $13 million to JA Worldwide in support of small business and the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. The FedEx Junior Business Challenge is part of the FedEx Cares global giving initiative, in which FedEx is investing $200 million in over 200 global communities by 2020 to create opportunities and deliver solutions for people around the world.

"The FedEx Junior Business Challenge has provided JA students with another opportunity to develop a product or service, create a business plan, and produce and market their innovation, while also continuing to develop their presentation skills," said Asheesh Advani, CEO, JA Worldwide. "We're extremely proud of all of the student teams that participated throughout the course of the year, and congratulate Lo-K8 and JA of Southwest New England on winning the FedEx Junior Business Challenge finals at the TOUR Championship."

With more than 100 member countries, the JA Worldwide network of over 470,000 volunteers serve more than 10 million young people around the world every year.

FedEx has been an official sponsor of the PGA TOUR since 2002. In 2007 the FedExCup – a season-long competitive and promotional platform – was introduced, transforming the competitive landscape of the PGA TOUR. The performance-based point structure culminates with the FedExCup Playoffs, a four-tournament playoff at the end of the season to determine the FedExCup Champion. 

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