JAMAICAN ENTREPRENEURS RECEIVE FUNDING AT N.C.B. ICON LAB’S FIRST PITCH TANK COMPETITION
The Trust for the Americas and N.C.B. Foundation have granted USD 10,000 to foster entrepreneurship in youth.
Kingston, Jamaica - February 28nd. - To foster an entrepreneurial mindset and advance economic opportunities for Jamaican youth, the N.C.B. ICON Lab held its first Pitch Tank Competition. This space provided 19 innovative minds with the opportunity to present their creative ideas to a panel of judges, in the hope of receiving up to USD 1,000 in seed funding to take their ventures to the next level.
During the event, marketing specialists and representatives from Jamaica's N.C.B. Foundation, BluShip Cargo and Freight, and iCreate Institute carefully heeded a total of 17 pitches. They then deliberated and selected the 10 winners, based on the premise and business plan quality, designed by the participants thanks to the training acquired at the NCB ICON Lab.
The NCB ICON (Innovative, Creative, Outstanding, and Nationalistic) Lab offers youth (16 to 30 years old) access to technology and curricula in digital, entrepreneurship, and life skills. It has been developed by The Trust for the Americas through its DIA Program, with the financial support of the N.C.B. Foundation, and implemented by The Mico University College, an organization focused on driving innovation in teaching to propel awareness about the skills of tomorrow and the future of work.
Dr. Asburn Pinnock, President, Mico University College, shared with the lab participants: “You will become a role model. We’re very happy for you and your community. With people like you engaging in these types of activities, I have faith that, despite the challenges we face in Jamaica, we will continue to promote growth and development.”
This competition is just the first step in their entrepreneurial journey, which seeks to improve the individual's quality of life and give back to the community and make a difference in the life of its people. Therefore, each Pitch Tank organized by the DIA Program is a celebration of the effort and commitment of the youth and the promise of the essential things they will do for themselves and their country.
Nadeen Matthews Blair, Chief Executive Officer, N.C.B. Foundation, commented after the session: "We are proud to be a part of building up these icons. The Foundation and the Board believes innovation, in all fields and industries, is an important step towards economic growth and national development.”
Rodrigo Iriani, Program Manager for DIA at The Trust for the Americas concluded: “Throughout the past 3 months, all the talented participants have been acquiring training at the N.C.B. ICON Lab, learning the necessary skills to develop their ideas and strengthen their pitching skills, and also participating in mock pitch tank competitions, and boot camps. So, we’re confident that all the projects presented today, regardless of the outcome, will surely become solid ventures that will positively impact Jamaican youth, increasing livelihood opportunities in vulnerable communities.”
Through access to technology, collaborative spaces, training, and competitive seed funds, the N.C.B. ICON Lab benefited the lives of 316 participants in 2021, advancing the DIA Innovation Lab network across the region. Since 2016, all the DIA Labs have impacted more than 4,989 people, providing them with tools to develop their business ideas or create social projects to tackle local challenges.
About The Trust for the Americas:
The Trust for the Americas is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization affiliated with the Organization of American States (OAS). It was established in 1997 to promote public and private sector participation in social and economic development projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. Our initiatives, implemented through local partner organizations, seek to improve access to economic opportunities as well as to foster innovation in vulnerable communities in the hemisphere. To this end, The Trust also promotes social inclusion and good governance. The Trust has offices in Washington, D.C., and a legal presence in Colombia, and Canada.
More information: www.trustfortheamericas.org
Facebook: The Trust for the Americas - Twitter: @Trust4Americas