DBJ & PSOJ launch National Business Model Competition for university students

The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) and the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) have announced the staging of the third, Annual National Business Model Competition (NBMC).  The NBMC is specifically for students enrolled at the local universities.  

The announcement was made at a press briefing held at the offices of the PSOJ, on Wednesday, February 17th, and was attend by a wide cross section of faculty, students and supporters from the participating universities – University of the West Indies, Northern Caribbean University, University of Technology, Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, and the University College of the Caribbean – and media.

The semi-finals and final of the NBMC will take place over two days, March 31st and April 1, 2016, respectively.  

The competition, an initiative of the local universities, is now in its third year and receives technical assistance and leadership from the DBJ and the PSOJ, with strong financial support from the private sector and investment communities.

The winner goes on to represent Jamaica at the International Business Model Competition in Washington DC, USA, in April 2016.

Mrs. Audrey Richards, Project Coordinator of the Jamaica Venture Capital Programme (JVCP) said the competition is directly aligned to the work of the JVCP and is a critical part of the development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Jamaica and is one component of the second Technical Cooperation Agreement (TCA) recently signed between the DBJ and the Inter-American Development Bank through its Multilateral Investment Fund (IDB-MIF).

“The campuses of our universities are fertile grounds for unearthing innovative projects, and creative thinking.  The competition is not just about winning a competition, as the long term goal is to ensure that the business ideas and projects coming out of the NBMC are operationalized and commercialized”

“We, at the DBJ, are encouraged by the growth of the participants in the national competition to date”, she added.    

Mr. Dennis Chung, CEO of the PSOJ, speaking at the launch commended the universities for their continued drive to build the capacity of students entering the campuses not just academically, but also with practical experiences.  As part of the PSOJ’s involvement as project manager, he urged private sector organizations to become involved in the NBMC via mentoring, coaching or in an advisory capacity. In thanking the sponsors of the NBMC, Mr. Chung commended and thanked Mr. Joseph M. Matalon, Chairman, ICD Group, and Mr. Paul Ahlstrom, founder of Alta Ventures, USA, for their visionary leadership and funding of the prize monies for the winners over the first two years and urged other private sector companies to support this national business project.

The participating tertiary institutions are: Northern Caribbean University – Morris Entrepreneurship Centre; University of Technology through the Joan Duncan School of Ethics, Entrepreneurship and Leadership; University of the West Indies – Mona School of Business; Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts; and the University College of the Caribbean.