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 Innovation and entrepreneurial prowess emerged once more at the 2024 UWI Vincent HoSang Venture Competition Finals and Awards event held at the Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM), UWI. The event showcased the final pitches of students' business ideas, offering them a chance to be funded. The competition finals held on January 26, 2024, brought together 8 dynamic student teams, each poised to unveil their ground-breaking ventures, aiming to reshape the future of various industries within Jamaica.

As a critical node in the entrepreneurship eco-system, the UWI Vincent HoSang Venture Competition seeks to nurture and fund the ideas of tertiary level student entrepreneurs and to bring their ideas to life. This year's competition encompassed  business ideas that span a wide array of sectors, including technology, agriculture, beauty, services, clothing, manufacturing, food, and fashion. The Vincent HoSang Entrepreneurial Programme extends an invitation to all registered UWI students to submit their ideas for the opportunity to win impressive cash prizes to invest in their businesses while gaining the benefit of mentorship along their journey. Speaking on behalf of the Vincent HoSang Family Foundation and Caribbean Food Delights (CFD) benefactors of the programme, Simone HoSang, Chief Operations Officer at CFD, explained to finalists, "Continue to provide value with a positive attitude and you will succeed. That’s one of my dad’s most important message to us, including employees. A positive attitude will get you far in life”. After listening  the finalist teams’ pitch  presentations, she remarked, “It’s encouraging to see the mission at work, where participants are truly given the opportunity to unlock resources necessary to unleash their creative and innovative ideas alongside guidance and mentorship”.  

The journey to the finals began in September 2023 with an impressive pool of 63 teams and approximately 100 participants. Through a series of Boot Camp sessions focusing on the Business Model Canvas, Marketing, Finance, and Corporate Social Responsibility, participants honed their skills under the guidance of expert presenters. As part of the competition cycle, teams received personalized mentorship from seasoned entrepreneurs to refine their strategies and ideas.

Following the semi-finals which were held in November2023, eight teams progressed to the finals– Amare Indulge, Brave New Technologies, Ceres Robotics, Floral Awakening Ja, Green Worx, Island Blast, Quality Swim Academy, and Sim’s Pimento Liquid.

The first-place prize was claimed by Shanya Francis of Sim’s Pimento Liquid, a pimento liquid extract which solves the ‘hazard’ associated with biting into a pimento seed while enjoying a meal. Second place was secured by Renardo Harvey and Adam Rerrie of Brave New Technologies, creators of a pioneering hybrid Electromyography and Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation device designed to enhance arm mobility for stroke patients. Additionally, two third-place prizes were awarded: Ceres Robotics, founded by Matthew Stone and Kevonteh Brown, focused on coconut harvesting through drone technology, and Green Worx, spearheaded by Robert Williams, a farming enterprise specializing in aquaponics and hydroponics within greenhouses. The top three finalists collectively received over J$1,000,000 in prize money.

Further exemplifying digital entrepreneurial drive, Brave New Technologies was honoured with the Digital Innovation and Implementation Award. Harvey and Rerrie, the masterminds behind the venture, explained their core business objective: to license their design and data to established companies within the healthcare and assistive technology sectors. Meanwhile, Green Worx managed by Robert Williams earned special recognition with the JMMB Joan Duncan Award for Corporate Social Responsibility, emphasising the company’s commitment to ethical business practices and community engagement to serve the issue of food security caused by the onset of climate change among other conditions.

Sim’s Liquid Pimento claimed the top honours of the evening, securing three additional prizes for her business venture: the Best Presenter Award, Best Presented Financials, and Best Undergraduate Team in addition to her first place prize. This remarkable achievement highlights the calibre of innovation and excellence present within the competition.

The event served as a testament to the limitless potential of innovation within the UWI and MSBM community. Speaking at the recent awards ceremony, Dr. David McBean, Executive Director of MSBM, encouraged the finalists saying, “All of you have commercially interesting products. Some of you are further along the business scale, but even if you don’t win - the message I want to leave with you is to persevere with your idea. Follow your passion that is your dream”.

In addition, there were greetings from other partners; Mrs Kim Mair, CEO of the longstanding partner JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation; and Mr Christopher Brown from Development Bank of Jamaica.


In addition to the prize money awarded to the top teams, the first place winner will embark on an all-expenses-paid trip to New York, generously provided by the competition's benefactor, the Vincent HoSang Family Foundation. During their stay, they will have the opportunity to tour the facilities of Caribbean Food Delights, gaining valuable insights into the baking industry as well as be introduced to New York based Jamaican entrepreneurs.

The partners and sponsors of this year's competition include the Vincent HoSang Family Foundation and Caribbean Food Delights, Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority, JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation, Development Bank of Jamaica, Baymac, and Mona Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Centre.

Since its inception in 2002, the competition has been dedicated to harnessing the talents and skills of students within the UWI community, facilitating the transformation of their ideas into thriving businesses.

Programme Coordinator: Tamra Thomas