J’can teams secure spots in International Business Model Competition
Ja Bio Plastics' team members Jordon Freeman (second right) and Samantha Williams (centre) accept the first place trophy and prize of J$2M at the 2019 staging of the National Business Model Competition last March.
For the second time since the inception of the National Business Model Competition (NBMC), a total of five local university teams, including this year’s national competition winner Ja Bio Plastics, will travel to Utah, United States, to defend Jamaica’s global championship and compete in the International Business Model Competition (IBMC) to be held between May 9 and 10.
The University of the West Indies’ Ja Bio Plastics team will showcase their winning presentation offering a natural alternative to non-biodegradable plastics by using plant matter to prepare a degradable, compostable, water soluble and edible solution to the international judges at the Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. They will compete along with PreeLabs (University of the West Indies), C2ML and Xermosol (University of Technology), and Marji Tech (Northern Caribbean University).
The additional teams advance via the highly competitive ‘At-Large Round’ where only 12 spaces are offered internationally. Jamaica has again secured four of the coveted spots, a feat that had never before been accomplished. They, respectively, will also present their ingenious business models for an electronic drone-flown security camera; a product that aids in feminine health by naturally treating yeast infections; a bacteria- and germ-eliminating device for public spaces; and an environmentally friendly product that provides manufacturers with material to replace plastic.
The National Business Model Competition, now in its sixth year, is an initiative of the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) through its Jamaica Venture Capital Programme and the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica.
Audrey Richards, Project Coordinator of the Jamaica Venture Capital Programme, said, “This is a tremendous achievement for the Jamaican programme. It endorses the work our universities are doing in building future business leaders. It is also an endorsement of the quality of the judges at our competition and it signals that we are on the right path to the development of a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
In previous years, Jamaica has done remarkably and progressively well at the IBMC. Though competing against 5,000 participants from 42 universities worldwide, the teams from Jamaica have always placed in the top ten, as follows: 2014 – Herboo Enterprise placed 8th; 2015 – JarGro Enterprise reached the semi-finals; 2016 – Guardanna Inc. placed 6th and received honorary mention; 2017 – Natsima Nutraceuticals placed 4th; and in 2018 – Beasc Tech was declared the Global Champion, with Eco Structures placing second and a third team placed in the top ten.
The 2019 NBMC received financial support and technical assistance from sponsors – Inter-American Development Bank’s Multilateral Investment Fund, PanJam Investment, NCB Foundation, GK Capital Management, Musson Foundation, Restaurants Associates (Burger King), Sagicor Group, Scotiabank, and PetroCaribe Development Fund.