Northern Caribbean University Team wins National Business Model Competition

Kingston, Friday, March 7, 2014 The winner of the inaugural National Business Model Competition (NBMC) is a group of five young entrepreneurs and hails from the Northern Caribbean University.  Under the business name - Herboo Enterprises – the students have successfully commercialized an all-natural shampoo-conditioner made from a blend of local herbs and spices.   The team walked away with prize money of $2 million and an all expense paid trip to participate in the International Business Model Competition in Utah, USA.
The finals took place at the Jamaica Conference Centre, on Friday, March 7 and saw four teams pitching their business models to a panel of judges made up of some of Jamaica’s finest businesspersons, donor agencies and a member of the Alta Ventures Group from the USA.
The National Business Model Competition is an initiative of the Jamaican Universities and came out of a recommendation from Paul Ahlstrom from Alta Ventures Group in Utah, USA and keynote speaker at the Jamaica Venture Capital Conference held September 2013.  He however stipulated that the universities should work together to select the best business model.
Joseph Matalon, Chairman of ICD Group of Companies, a benefactor of the NBMC in delivering the keynote address at the awards presentation pointed out that: “Universities are at the centre of new ideas and promoting entrepreneurship and innovation.  With the aid of technology, research, and product validation – the ideas coming out of the universities have an opportunity to be developed and presented to financiers.  The more of these opportunities that are created, the greater the likelihood of breakthrough enterprises emerging”.
Other winners in the competition are; Jamlamb (second place) from the University of the West Indies, Mona School of Business & Management, and JelSolve (third place), from the Northern Caribbean University.
Business Modeling is at the heart of a new approach to entrepreneurship, aimed at applying a certain amount of rigour to the assumptions created around a new business idea.  It is not just about making projections, but doing the legwork to gather data to support those initial assumptions and going back to the drawing board or ‘pivoting’ and re-working the model.  At the end of that process, success may not always be guaranteed but failures are likely to be reduced.