UWI's Ja-Bio-Plastics wins Business Model Competition

Observer writer

Sunday, March 24, 2019

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UNIVERSITY of the West Indies students Jordon Freeman and Samantha Williams were on Friday titled winners of the National Business Model Competition 2019 for their business venture, Ja-Bio-Plastics.

The duo walked away with a cash prize of $2 million and an all-expense-paid trip to defend Jamaica's 2018 global championship at the upcoming International Business Model Competition (IBMC) at the Brigham Young University campus in Provo, Utah, United States.

Ja-Bio-Plastics' business model proposes a natural, degradable and compactable alternative to plastic. The concept is in keeping with the government's recent plastic ban.

In an interview with the Jamaica Observer, Freeman expressed confidence in taking home the global award from the IBMC which will be held on Friday May 10.

“The $2 million will be used for the analysis of our material for quality assurance and we will start the coaching process for the international competition, so we are very confident about winning,” the founding partner said.

In addressing the competitors, Minister of Finance, Nigel Clarke reiterated the importance of entrepreneurship to the growth of Jamaica's economy. The minister encouraged competitors to take risks and continue to excel.

“Jamaica will not be able to achieve its potential without persons venturing out, taking risks, starting a business, providing a good or a service,” Clarke said.

Taking the prize for second place was Re-Draft from Northern Caribbean University, while the University of the West Indies' PreeLabs placed third. Xeromosol from the University of Technology was named the fourth prize winner.

The teams walked away with $1,000,000; $500,000 and $200,000 respectively.

This year marks the second year that the NBMC winners are from University of the West Indies. Last year, Queritel, founded by Shani Bennett and Kevonne Martin won the national competition and placed seventh internationally.

Interestingly, 2018's team Beasc Technologies, which placed fourth last year, made history in 2018 by topping the International Business Model Competition when they placed first beating out all universities worldwide.

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