This year's staging of the Vincent HoSang The University of the West Indies (UWI) Venture Competition was launched at the Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) in Kingston on Wednesday, September 27, 2017.
The competition was first held in 2002 with the objective of harnessing the talents and skills of students within the UWI community, and facilitate the development of their ideas into fully-fledged businesses.
It is also viewed as an initiative to develop valuable graduates and citizens in the Jamaican community.
Since its inception, many participating teams have been able to successfully transition their business concepts into commercially viable entities. Several teams have also moved on to represent the UWI, Mona, at the National Business Model Competition, placing in the top four each year.
Of special significance has been the competition's success in building tangible connections between the academic foundation students receive and the practical demands of starting and operating a business.
Commenting on this year's competition, acting executive director of the MSBM, Michael Williams, said that over the years the competition has served as a launch pad for many of its students, and it has enabled them to turn their ideas into “real, operational businesses” that then go on to contribute to the Jamaican economy.
“It is my hope, even for those who don't qualify as finalists, that they will take valuable lessons from the competition, and continue to work on their concepts to make them into viable businesses,” Williams said.