FIVE students from the Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) led a team which copped first place in the 2013 Opportunity Funding Corporation Innovation & Entrepreneurship competition in Atlanta, USA.
The MSBM delegation, which consisted of Donya-Jean Brown, Sacha Walters-Gregory, Suzette Pottinger, Kaydian Dawes and Andre Moore, was the only non-United States team to enter the competition — a business plan competition for historically black colleges and universities.
The team of master's students created a business plan under the company name Near Earth Delights Limited. This potential business would supply baby food made from Jamaican agricultural produce, under the brand name Giggles.
The Giggles brand wowed the judges in Atlanta, who included representatives from Microsoft, UPS and Sam's Club.
"I feel very proud of my team members," Brown said. "The work that we put into it consisted of some late nights, late nights that caused us stress at some points, but overall, I think the synergy we had as a team and the effort that we put out made us the winners. We are all proud."
She said responding to the international demand for high-quality infant nutrition was the best of several pitches and ideas the team members offered in the planning stages.
"It came out of an entrepreneurship class we were doing. 'An Idea Generation' was the assignment and we had to come up with an idea we thought would bring new business to the country," she said.
Giggles would use fruits and ground provisions as the ingredients for the baby food.
The Scientific Research Council assisted in formulating the combinations of tropical foods that the team presented.
Brown told Career & Education that the next goal of the team is to actualise the project.