Mona School of Business & Management (MSBM) MBA students Alicia Brown and Ana-Kay Green continued the University of the West Indies’ (UWI) growing tradition of winning the Opportunity Funding Corporation (OFC) Innovation & Entrepreneurship competition which is held annually in Atlanta Georgia.
The duo, which competed in the Thurgood Marshall Fund sponsored event from Thursday April 10- Saturday April 13 also won awards for both Best Presentation, and Best Business Plan.
The young ladies are the third UWI team to win the overall competition in four years. The UWI team has in previous years won the award for Outstanding Presentation on two occasions. The champion team presented their plan for the Regal Farms Limited a West Indian Sea Island Cotton (WISIC) farming business.
Following their win at the Atlanta competition, the team qualified to participate in the Global Venture Labs Investment Competition (Global VLIC) which took place at the University of Texas, ( Austin) between May1-3, 2014.
The Global VLIC the longest-running investment competition, often referred to as the "Super Bowl of world business plan competitions, featured 38 teams, that gained admittance by either winning a qualifying U.S. or international competition . Half of this year’s teams came from outside the U.S.A, representing Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, France, Germany, Jamaica, Norway, Sweden and Thailand. The MSBM team received special commendation from the judges for their presentation skills and the level of energy and enthusiasm displayed.
The Regal Farms Ltd. venture involves the growing of West Indian Sea Island Cotton in Clarendon Jamaica to provide for an undersupplied international niche market. Regal Farms Ltd. will commercially cultivate authentic WISIC for the production of premium quality lint for export to the international market. MSBM and members of the Private Sector collaborated to coach the team, with mentors such as Douglas Lindo , Adjunct Lecturer at MSBM and Faculty Advisor for the team, alongside James Moss-Solomon and Harry Smith, Executives in Residence at MSBM, Elaine Commissiong - Chairman and Executive Director at CARA Ltd. Communication Consultants, Mark Chisholm - Executive Vice President of Sales in the Individual Life Division at Sagicor , Roy Reid Manager, Client Portfolios & Investment Strategies at JMMB, Sacha Walters-Gregory, member of the 2013 OFC wininng Team, and MSBM adjunct lecturers Jacqueline Scott-Crossley, Herman Athias, and Vennecia Scott.
The Regal Farms team advanced to the OFC event as a result of their victory in the UWI Venture Competition (UWIVC) held earlier this year. The UWIVC program operates as an incubation model, with teams of both undergraduate and graduate students being mentored through the business plan process and pitching their ideas to a panel of esteemed public and private sector judges. The programme nurtures new ideas for products and markets until they can be matured into a profitable operation. This year, sponsors Jamaica Money Market Brokers- Joan Duncan Foundation and Scotia Bank Jamaica’s Small Medium Enterprise Division came on board to show their commitment to facilitating nation building through entrepreneurial development and growth. Other sponsors included UHY Dawgen and Mona Business Support Services.