Jamaica’s National Business Model Competition winner shines at the International Competition in Salt Lake, Utah

Jamaica’s National Business Model Competition winner – Herboo Enterprises - has placed 8th, out of a total of 42 teams in the finals of the International Business Model Competition that took place in Salt Lake City, Utah from May 1 - 3.  The local team was also awarded the International Business Model Award. They won a total of US$ 6,000.00.
 
The IBMC is currently co-hosted by Brigham Young University, Harvard University, and Stanford University.  This year’s event was held at Brigham Young University in Utah, and teams from universities worldwide, competed for the prestigious award of IBMC trophy and cash prize of US$25,000.
 
This was the first time that Jamaica has participated in the International Business Model Competition and is the culmination of six months of intense work.
 
Business Modelling is a relatively new phenomenon that is geared at reducing the failure rate of start-up businesses.  It focuses on identifying and precisely defining the assumptions of the new venture, testing those assumptions in the field, and then pivoting (changing) based on the lessons learned. 
 
Joseph M. Matalon, Chairman of DBJ and ICD Group commended the teams and opined that “this is great news that will redound to the benefit of the Jamaican economy”
 
Continuing he said:  “every year new and emerging entrepreneurs are being unearthed on the campuses of our universities.  These young entrepreneurs are in need of mentors, coaches and Angel Investors to provide the capital to build their businesses.  The DBJ is focused on creating an Angel and Venture Capital ecosystem that is vibrant and robust, and so we want to encourage investors, local and from the wider Jamaican diaspora, to form angel groups or networks and take advantage of these emerging opportunities. It is good for the students, for the communities from which they come and for the country as a whole”.
 
The finals of the National Business Model Competition took place at the Jamaica Conference Centre on March 6 and 7, where 11 teams from UTECH, UWI and NCU (three or four teams from each university) faced off for national championship. Herboo Enterprises was awarded national champion, an all-expense paid trip to Utah and a cash prize of J$2 million.
 
The National Business Model Competition was the result of close collaboration among three Jamaican Universities – Northern Caribbean University, University of Technology, and the University of the West Indies.  The competition was conceived at the DBJ’s Venture Capital Conference in September 2013 by Keynote speaker, Paul Ahlstrom of Alta Ventures Group, Utah, USA, who offered to fund the prize for the winner of a national business model competition if the local universities would collaborate on such an initiative.  The prize monies were co-sponsored by the ICD Group and other financial support for the staging of the competition, came from the Inter-American Development Bank, the Development Bank of Jamaica through the Jamaica Venture Capital Programme, and the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica which provided project management support.