Business Model Competition Could Spawn Next Generation of Jamaican Entrepreneurs — Joe Issa.
Executive Chairman of Cool Group of over 50 companies Joe Issa, whose business model has been likened to that of his colleague, Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group of over 400 companies, has wished Jamaica well in the upcoming International Business Model Competition (IBMC), stating it could spawn Jamaica’s next generation of entrepreneurs.
Last year, Issa congratulated NCU for Finishing 6th in World Business Model Competition held in Washington DC, USA.
“Over time the competition among local institution to represent Jamaica at the international level could act as a catalyst to spawn the country’s next generation of entrepreneurs,” Issa says, adding, “Even those who do not succeed in representing Jamaica would have developed business models of a sufficiently high quality to find acceptance and application at home.”
“The participation of universities in the local competition to find the best business model to represent Jamaica at the international level provides optimal opportunity to identify potentially winning ventures, which can spur entrepreneurial imagination and creativity among students.
“In this regard, I see the business model competition doing for the development of entrepreneurship in Jamaica, what CHAMPS has done for the rise of athletics, and similarly, what Spelling Bee has done in breeding a whole new generation of spellers,” says Issa, stating that “people tend to follow success.”
A cash prize of $4 million will be awarded to the winning university with the best business model, at the competition to be held at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston from March 23–24.
The winning entry will join others from around the world at the international competition to be held at the Computer History Museum in the heart of Silicon Valley in Mountain View, California, on May 11 and 12. A cash prize of US$30,000 and the prestigious trophy are up for grabs.
The local competition (NBMC), which is now in its fourth staging and is aimed at promoting the development of innovative enterprises in Jamaica, is organized by the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) through its Jamaica Venture Capital Programme and the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ).
The participating tertiary institutions are the Northern Caribbean University (NCU), University of the West Indies (UWI), Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts and the University of Technology (UTech).
No stranger to the competition, Issa Congratulated NCU last year for Finishing 6th in the World Business Model Competition held in Washington DC, USA. The NCU team entered the April 29 -30 competition with a DEET-free mosquito repellent called Guard, which they started producing in 2014, in response to the outbreak of the chikungunya virus carried by the Aedes Aegyptus mosquito.
Issa said then, “Placing sixth among 200 institutions from around the world is no mean feat and the NCU team should be proud of themselves to present a first class business model.
“I also think the entry of the repellant was very appropriate, given the urgent, life-threatening circumstances surrounding the start of production, says Issa, who is a multi-award winning businessman.
As a Mentor at the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship — the Caribbean based in Montego Bay, Issa has assisted, among others, a young Jamaican to transition from making a product as a hobby to producing it as a full pledge business. The assistance also included access to Cool Group’s top technical and management staff.