For the first time since the inception of the National Business Model Competition (NBMC), an initiative of the Development Bank of Jamaica and partners, five teams, from two universities (University of the West Indies and Northern Caribbean University), will compete in the International Business Model Competition (IBMC) in Utah, USA on May 10-11, 2018.
At the fifth staging of the NBMC held at the Knutsford Court Hotel on March 23, the University of the West Indies (UWI) based team, Queritel, a market research business, was selected as the winner and is the official representative of Jamaica at the IBMC.
Following the competition, five of the other teams which competed in the NBMC Finals applied for the opportunity to enter the IBMC through the highly competitive “At Large Round.” Of the 12 spaces offered through the ‘Round’, Jamaica secured four of the coveted spots, a feat that has never before been accomplished.
The teams that will join Queritel to participate in the international competition at the Utah Valley Convention Center and the Provo Marriott Hotel and Conference Center are the 2nd and 3rd place winners of the NBMC, Eco-Structures and Pneulyfe, representing the University of the West Indies and the Northern Caribbean University (NCU), respectively. Along with these teams, Skolastik Oasis from the UWI and Beasc Tech from the NCU were also invited to compete.
“This is a tremendous achievement for the Jamaican programme. It endorses the work our universities are doing in building future business leaders. It is an endorsement of the quality of the judges at our competition and it sends a signal that the work we, the Development Bank of Jamaica though the Jamaica Venture Capital Programme, are doing with our universities, and indeed, the development of robust entrepreneurial ecosystem is on the right path,” stated Audrey Richards, Project Coordinator of the Jamaica Venture Capital Programme at the Development Bank of Jamaica.
In previous years, Jamaica has done remarkably and progressively well at the IBMC. Though competing against 5,000 participants from 42 universities world-wide, the team from Jamaica has always placed in the top ten, as follows: 2014 – Herboo Enterprise placed 8th, 2015 – JarGro Enterprise reached the semi-finals, 2016 – Guardana Inc. placed 6th and received honorary mention, and in 2017 – Natsima Nutraceuticals placed 4th.
The 2018 NBMC received financial support and technical assistance from sponsors – Inter-American Development Bank’s Multilateral Investment Fund, PanJam Investments, GK Capital Management, Musson Foundation, Restaurants Associates (Burger King), Sagicor Group, Scotiabank, PetroCaribe Development Fund and NCB Foundation, while the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica serves as project manager.