The Vincent Hosang University of the West Indies Venture Competition (UWIVC) was introduced in November 2002 with the objective to encourage members of the University community to use their talents and skills to harness ideas and opportunities that can be grown into full-fledged operating businesses. Students from across all five faculties are encouraged to participate in an effort unleash their creative and innovative ideas. This is an essential part of developing valuable graduates and citizens.
Over the years, multiple teams have moved their business ideas to the next step of commercialization and it is also noteworthy that since its inception, several teams from the Venture Competition have gone on to represent UWI in the National Business Model Competition placing in the top four (4). Equally important is the impact that each year’s programme has had on the approximately 100 direct participants (facilitators, coaches, team members and mentors) and the wider community in building important bridges between the academic foundations and the practical demands of starting and operating a business.
First Place: Eco Structures Limited
Second Place: Skolastic Oasis Caribbean
Third Place: Research Aid Plus
The 2017 staging of The University of the West Indies, Mona (UWI) Vincent HoSang Entrepreneurship Competition came to a close on Friday, January 26, 2018 after five (5) student teams successfully presented on business ideas ranging from projects on education, manufacturing, eco-friendly sustainability, research and transportation.
The Competition was first held in 2002, with the objective of harnessing the talents and skills of students within the UWI community and to facilitate the development of their ideas into full-fledged businesses. Since 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 at the National Business Model Competition, placing in the top four each year.
In addition to the monetary prizes of $300,000, $200,000 and $150,000 respectively from the private sector the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will participate in the Vincent HoSang Entrepreneurship Programme where they earn an opportunity to apply assumptions made from their business model canvas, and start their businesses. The winning team of this year’s competition will also receive an all-expenses paid 5-day trip to New York during which they will be exposed to relevant business and cultural experiences in addition to meeting with the benefactor and touring the Caribbean Food Delight Factories; and learning from several successful Jamaican business persons.
The five (5) finalists: Skolastik Oasis, a fully digitized scholarship database management system; Eagles Car Consulting, assisting first time car buyers with acquiring used vehicles at reasonable costs; ECO-Structures, a fully automated low cost environmentally friendly construction solutions and manufacturing plant; Research Aid Plus, a digital research management system that seeks to link scholars to reliable researchers; and Haemo Kingz, a business seeking to develop an ingestible formula to assist blood movement using 100% organic ingredients, showed exemplary proposals. However, the winner of the night was ECO-Structures Limited, an environmental business that will operate as a fully automated manufacturing plant, which will allow for low-cost environmentally friendly construction solutions using a patented formula led by current Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) MBA students Shanalee Cawley, Kristoffer Henry and Tricia Bent studying MBA International Business and MBA General Management, respectively.
Commenting on the competition, Marketing Director of MSBM, Ms. Janice Henlin stated, “We deem this event to be one of the very significant ones for us and indeed the University. Research has shown that entrepreneurship is a path to wealth creation and therefore leads to economic growth, and we believe that Universities play a very important role. So we take our role at MSBM and the wider University to be significant as we are in fact molding and building skills to assist in economic growth.”
Mrs. Patricia Sutherland, Chairman of the JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation, which has been a major sponsor for the past four years, expressed the organization’s pride in supporting the competition, “Our country needs small and medium enterprises to grow now for the development of our country. When you put together the want of the country and a competition like this, you encourage the continued mindset; and then we will know we are on the right track. Share your ideas, don’t keep them to yourself. The JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation is proud to be a part of this growth.”
“We are expanding the landscape of Jamaica through high quality innovation by our youth who are resourceful, critical and spectacular. The JCAA congratulates MSBM on the vanguard role they’re playing as an institution and for the financial literacy they’re providing,” shared Mrs. Nicole Morgan, Deputy Director General of the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority.
The Vincent HoSang UWI Venture 2017 Competition is supported by proud partners, The Vincent HoSang Family Foundation, Caribbean Food Delights and Mona School of Business and Management. This year’s main sponsors are the JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation and the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority who are Platinum Sponsors. Other corporate sponsors are, JN Small Business Loans Limited, the Jamaica Stock Exchange, the Development Bank of Jamaica, Mona Business Support Services, Ingenuity and the Jamaica Biscuit Company.