Sustainable Food Cart Innovation Wins UTech, Jamaica Business Model Competition

First Place Winners: Prof. Stephen Vasciannie, CD, (right) President, University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech, Ja.) congratulates members of Team Sustainable Cart who emerged winners at the finals of the UTech, Ja. Business Model Competition held on Friday, February 24, 2017 at the Technology Innovation Centre, Papine campus.  Team member Mr. Markland Jefferson is all smiles as Prof. Vasciannie presents him with the winner’s plaque. Happy team members Mr. Ceretsie Campbell (back row, left) and Miss Danoy Robotham (front row, left) bask in the proud moment.    Sharing in the  team’s victory, are Mr. Dennis Chung (back row, 2nd left) CEO, Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica and Chief Judge, Mrs. Emma Thomas (partially hidden), Sales and Marketing Manager, COK Sodality Co-operative Credit Union and judge, Mrs. Audrey Richards, Financial Consultant, Development Bank of Jamaica, sponsor, Mr. Steven Gooden, CEO, NCB Capital Markets, member of the judging panel and Mr. Michael Steele, Head, Joan Duncan School of Entrepreneurship, Ethics and Leadership and Competition Chairman.


Team Sustainable Food Cart impressed judges at the finals of the Joan Duncan School of Entrepreneurship, Ethics and Leadership (JDSEEL) led 4th annual University of Technology, Jamaica Business Model Competition, to cop first place at the end of an exciting round of competition at the finals held on Friday, February 24, 2017 at the Technology Innovation Centre, UTech, Ja. Papine Campus.

Sustainable Food Cart comprising team members Mr Ceretsie Campbell, PhD student and lecturer, School of Hospitality and Tourism Management (SHTM), Mr Markland Jefferson, student, Faculty of the Built Environment and Miss Danoy Robotham, SHTM student in their presentation explained that their food cart innovation facilitates the preparation of food on the spot in a sanitary and modern setting.  The cart which is sustained by biomass fuel, can be custom built for commercial or home use and is already market ready.  The team also copped the category prize for “Best Utilization of the Business Model Canvas.”

The team will go on to participate in the highly competitive National Business Model competition scheduled for March 23 – 24, 2017 along with the 2nd, 3rd and 4th place winners in the UTech, Ja. Business Model competition.

Impressive second place winner was team Organic Branches – a coconut cooking oil infused with spices to reduce meal time preparation.  The team of JDSEEL students, Mr. Terence Thompson, Miss Stashagay Coke, Mr. Andre Patterson, Miss Jessica Campbell and SHTM student, Mr. Roshane Thompson wowed the audience and judges with their well packaged and market ready coconut oil which already has a customer base.  The team also won two category prizes for “Best International Market Potential” and for “Most Developed Prototype”

Rounding out the top four were third place winners, team Milikan, producers of environmentally friendly fuel from algae. The team comprises School of Natural and Applied Sciences students Mr. Kelso Walcott and Mr. Stephen Francis and School of Business Administration (SOBA) student Miss Lacey Wright.  Milikan copped the category award for “Most Innovative Prototype.”  Fourth place was team Smart Shopper – a mobile application that assists shoppers with calculating the cost of their supermarket shopping cart goods ahead of cashing out.  Team members were JDSEEL students, Miss Camille Gregory and Miss Jodiann Brackett, Mr Michael Asphalt, School of Computing and Information Technology (SCIT) and Mr. Ramon Muir, SOBA. Fifth place went to team members of Histillous, Miss Trishana Andrews, SOBA and Miss Kadisha Christie, Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies.  Histillous is a convertible shoe that can be worn as high heels or flats.  Sixth place went to team Reggae Trips– an online platform to enhance visitor experience through interaction with local citizens.  The team comprises students Mr. Rowen Johnson, JDSEEL and Mr. Keemo Fong, Faculty of Engineering and Computing.

Competition Overview

In in his overview of the competition, Mr. Michael Steele, Head, JDSEEL told the large gathering of students, members of faculty and staff, members of the business community, mentors and sponsors, that the UTech, Ja BMC has been a “mixture of success and challenges.”  He noted that the competition was started in 2013 at the end of a Development Bank of Jamaica conference at which Mr Paul Ahlstrom of Alta Ventures Corporation challenged the major universities in Jamaica to participate in the international competition. UTech, Jamaica under the guidance of TIC Incubator Manager, Miss Dionne Palmer has since been spearheading the competition with team members from the JDSEEL.

Emphasizing the importance of the competition in promoting new ideas and solving problems for developing countries like Jamaica, Mr Steele explained that participants are required to find a problem big enough that is worth solving; write down all the key hypotheses about the business model and then show how to solve the problem.  Teams are assessed on the validation of their hypotheses and assumptions; product development and presentation skills and were required to use a Business Model Canvas demonstrating their key partners and activities, value propositions, customer relationships, as well as cost structure and revenue streams. 

The student teams are allowed capital investment of no more than J$ 1M and must have a minimum of 20% ownership in the venture.  Ventures cannot be a buyout or an expansion of an existing company, real estate syndication, a tax shelter, franchise, or a licensing agreement for distribution in a different geographical area or a spin-out from an existing cooperation.

Prof. Colin Gyles, Deputy President address the audience.

Prof. Colin Gyles, Deputy President who brought remarks on behalf of President Prof. Stephen Vasciannie, CD congratulated the final six teams on their innovative business models.  Noting that Jamaica’s current unemployment rate is at a high of 13.7% with youth unemployment at a considerable higher 29.2%, he praised the student innovators for “pursing entrepreneurship to preserve their independence and to secure their financial future.” He reminded them to be always guided in their undertakings by the seven UTech, Ja. Core Values of Respect, Accountability, Innovation, Service, Excellence, Integrity and Team Spirit.

Dr. Paul Golding, Dean, College of Business and Management in emphasizing that entrepreneurship bridges the gap between innovation and the customer, encouraged the student innovators to be mindful of the importance of nurturing their customer base and relationships in order to generate revenue.

Chairman of the Joan Duncan Foundation, a major sponsor of the UTech, Ja. BMC, Ms. Patricia Sutherland spoke about the importance of “limitless thinking”, “possibility thinking”, courage, integrity and resilience as important characteristics of an entrepreneur. Citing the example of co-founder of JMMB, Joan Duncan, Ms Sutherland shared that her mother never gave up on sharing her idea of entrepreneurship for the development of Jamaica until it became reality.


The winning teams received cash awards, plaques, trophies, and sectional prizes of $10,000 each.  The first place winner received a cash award of $300,000, advertising value of $250,000 donated by NCB Foundation for use on the Intelligent Media platform, as well as office space and mentoring within the Student Incubator at the JDSEEL’s Technology Innovation Centre (TIC).  Second place winners received $225,000, third place - $120,000, fourth place, - $75,000 and fifth and sixth place received, $20,000 each.

The judging panel comprised Mr. Dennis Chung, CEO, PSOJ, Chief Judge, Mr. Steven Gooden, CEO, NCB Capital Markets, Mrs. Sharon Gibson, General Manager, JMMB Money Transfer and Mrs. Emma Thomas, Marketing and Sales Manager, COK Credit Union.


Mr. Dennis Chung, CEO, Private Sector Organization of Jamaica and Chief Judge makes a point during the competition.  Other members of the judging panel from left, Mr. Steven Gooden, CEO, NCB Capital Markets, Mrs. Emma Thomas, Marketing and Sales Manager, City of Kingston Sodality Credit Union and Mrs. Sharon Gibson, General Manager, JMMB Money Transfer Limited look on.


Main sponsor of the competition was the Joan Duncan Foundation.  Other sponsors were Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), National Commercial Bank (NCB) Foundation, COK Soladity Co-Operative Credit Union Ltd. and Linstead Market Jamaica.  Representatives from the sponsoring companies in their remarks all endorsed the UTech, Ja. Business Model competition and encouraged the student entrepreneurs to continue to follow their dreams. 


Sustainable Food Cart: Elated team members of Sustainable Food Cart from left, Mr. Ceretsie Campbell, Miss Danoy Robotham and Mr. Markland Jefferson pose in front of  their prototype with their plaques and prizes.

Spicy: Dr. Paul Golding (2nd left), Dean, College of Business and Management, UTech, Ja. examines a bottle of team Organic Branches’ spice infused coconut cooking oil. Team members looking on from left are Mr Terrence Thompson, Mr. Roshane Thompson, Mr. Andre Patterson, Miss Jessica Campbell and Miss Stashagay Coke.


Environmentally Friendly: Mr. Kelso Walcott, Miss Lacey Wright and Mr. Stephen Francis of Milikan pose with their prototype used to produce environmentally friendly fuel from algae.


Smart Shoppers: The Smart Shopper team comprising from left, Mr. Michael Asphall, Mr. Ramon Muir and Ms. Camille Gregory present their Business Model Canvas during the finals of the UTech, Ja. Business Model Competition.

Convertible Heels: Miss Kadisha Christie (centre) of team Histillous demonstrates to President Prof. Stephen Vasciannie how her convertible shoe heel prototype works.  Looking on from left are Miss Trishanna Andrews, team member Histillous, Mr. Andrew Pairman, Deputy Chairman, NCB Foundation and Dr. Carol Nathan, the team’s Mentor and Lecturer, Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies, UTech, Ja.


Mr. Rowen Johson (right) and Mr Keemo Fong (3rd right) of team Reggae Trips discuss their brochure with Ms. Patricia Sutherland (2nd right), Chairman, Joan Duncan Foundation. Listening in from left are Mrs. Jacqueline Knight-Campbell, Marketing Chair, UTech, Ja. Business Model Competition and Mr. Micheal Steele, Head, JDSEEL and competition Chairman.


Michelle Beckford (Mrs.)
Corporate Communications Manager
University of Technology, Jamaica
Telephone: 970-5299