Northern Caribbean University (NCU) has created history by fielding the first Jamaican student entrepreneur team, Beasc Technologies, to win the prestigious International Business Model Competition (IBMC) for tertiary institutions globally.
Beasc Technologies, which was one of five Jamaican teams participating in the IBMC’s 2018 renewal in Utah, USA, from May 10 to 11, topped participants from 38 other colleges and universities to cop the champion’s trophy and a US$30,000 cash prize.
The teams’ performance was further embellished with a second-place finish by University of the West Indies (UWI) representative, Eco-Structures, whose members were awarded the US$20,000 first runner-up prize.
The feats were achieved in only the fifth year that Jamaican tertiary student-run businesses were participating in the annual event, dating back to 2014 when the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) launched the National Business Model Competition (NBMC) for local tertiary-student entrepreneurs.
Both teams made their presentations to a high-level group of judges comprising author of the bestselling books ‘Running Lean’ and ‘Scaling Lean’ – Ash Maurya, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Startup Tuscon – Aaron Eden, and Founder and CEO of Precoil – David Bland.
Other Jamaican entrants this year included 2018 NBMC winner – Queritel, and Skolastik Oasis, both from the UWI; and Pneulyfe from NCU. Eco-Structures and Pneulyfe were first and second runners-up, respectively, to Queritel.
Their placements continued the impressive run of local teams finishing among the IBMC’s top-10 competitors, with all NBMC winners between 2014 and 2017 achieving this feat.
The previous highest placement was recorded by 2017 NBMC winner, Natisma Nutraceuticals, which finished fourth.
National NBMC Coach, Douglas Lindo, who travelled with the teams to Utah, has high praises for the performances of Beasc Technologies and Eco-Structures.
“We are overjoyed. Imagine first and second in our fifth year of entering this world-class event. This is amazing,” he tells JIS News.
Designed to encourage and promote the creative and innovative thinking of students, the NBMC facilitates local entrepreneurial skills and enhances collaboration and communication between stakeholders in the private sector and academia.
The initiative is anchored and supported by the DBJ and its partners, including the Inter-American Development Bank-Multilateral Investment Fund (IDB-MIF), Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), PanJam Investment Limited, Musson Foundation, Restaurant Associates Limited (Burger King), Scotiabank Jamaica, Sagicor Group, GK Capital Management, PetroCaribe Development Fund and NCB Foundation.
The IBMC is sponsored by the Kevin and Debra Rollins Centre for Entrepreneurship and Technology in the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University, headquartered in Provo, Utah.
The entrepreneurship programme at the Marriott School, which has campuses/students across the United States and in 105 other countries, is consistently ranked among the top such offered, annually.