I feel so sorry that I missed the final event of the Katalyxt Youth Innovators Awards; I always closely follow the progress of the competition, which lasts throughout the school year. Sponsors were the Development Bank of Jamaica, the Export Import Bank of Jamaica and Katalyxt. The young and enthusiastic Katalyxt team is led by Winsome Minott, CEO of Mint Management and Finance Services Limited, who has a vision for our youth which is tremendously refreshing. Ms. Minott is so right; innovation is the future! Here is the Katalyxt press release (and their photos).
Vere Technical High School Wins 2016 Katalyxt Youth Innovators’ Competition!
Katalyxt is a division of Mint Management and Finance Services Limited with the responsibility of aiding the growth and development of small and medium enterprises in Jamaica. The long-term goal is to develop the Jamaican business community by the identification and training of existing and prospective entrepreneurs, to increase their chances of success. The business development conference is one of the mediums through which we assist individuals to identify critical success factors for businesses and plan effective strategies charting the course for growth and development.
This year marked the 5th staging of our annual Katalyxt Youth Innovators’ Competition which commenced from September to May 2016. The objective of this competition is to engage young innovators third (3rd) to six (6th) form to participate and develop an appetite for innovation. This project seeks to invest in the entrepreneurial potential of Jamaican youths, while instilling in them, the necessary business acumen and preparing students to be movers and shakers of tomorrow’s business industries, be they manufacturing, energy, technology, agriculture, amongst others.
Students were drawn from Science, Business, and Home Economics clubs to focus on entrepreneurship and enterprise. Thereafter, students and advisors organized team(s) to represent the school, and submit an innovative product or service which has an element of originality. Schools were permitted to submit more than one entry. Products and services submitted were judged based on creativity and innovation, execution of product, marketability, and value added, presentation and design, to name a few.
Judging for the 2016 Youth Innovators’ Competition took place on March 7, 2016 and March 14, 2016 at the Jamaica Conference Centre and the Jose Marti Technical High School Auditorium, respectively. The judges were impressed by the innovative products and services presented; it was a hard decision for the judges, to say the least. However, in the end they came to a decision, and the Top 12 winners for the 2016 competition are:
Ardenne High School; Bridgeport High School; Bustamante High School; Campion College; Edith Dalton James High School; Vere Technical High School; Immaculate Conception High School; Excelsior High School; Penwood High School; Meadowbrook High School; Merl Grove High School; and Wolmer’s Boys’ School.
On May 12, 2016 at the Jamaica Conference Centre, the Top 12 winners were invited to attend the final stage of the competition- Training Session & Prize Giving Ceremony. In addition to the much awaited announcement of winners, the highlight of the event was the guest speaker Mr. Damion Crawford. Mr. Crawford was effective and inspiring as he encouraged winners to follow their passion: “Innovate, because you MUST.” His message was caustic but realistic – jobs that were available 30 years ago, have now been replaced by technology. It is therefore, vital for the graduates to become “job creators and not job seekers.”
The Real Life Youth Entrepreneur, Lacey- Ann Bartley of Bartley’s All in Wood, encouraged the students to pursue their dreams in the face of adversity. She noted that passion and perseverance will take you a long way when starting a business: “Passion and perseverance will take you a long way when starting a business.”
The winners of the 2016 Youth Innovators’ Competition are:
- 1st Place: Vere Technical High School. Product: Go Green Vere Technical
- 2nd Place: Campion College. Product: Chocolat Masque
- 3rd Place: Penwood High School. Product: Pentastic Innovative Works
- 4th Place: Meadowbrook High School. Product: Candles by Asha
- Sustainability Award: Bridgeport High School. Product: BioDigester
- Big Idea! Award (shared): Penwood High School. Product: Pentastic Innovative Works
- Big Idea! Award (shared): Ardenne High School. Product: Energomax
- Team Leader’s Award: Edith Dalton James High School. Product: Turnip Facial Scrub
- Creative Arts Award: Bustamante High School. Product: Handy Bag
Our 1st place winner, Vere Technical High School received a total grand prize of $30,000.00. The team will be featured in the August/September upcoming eKatalyxt publication, and will have the opportunity to work with Katalyxt’s team of experts to further develop their product.
Katalyxt Jamaica would love to hear from you. If you want to talk to them some more about the program or talk to any of the winning schools, you may contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.katalyxt.info or @katalyxtja (Twitter). Tel: (876) 968-3115.