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Judging of the Katalyxt’s 2017/18 Youth Innovators’ Competition (YIC) 

Kareem LaTouche, Youthlink Coordinator

Katalyxt a subsidiary of Mint Management and Finance Services Limited, presented the first and the second round of Judging for the “Katalyxt Youth Innovators Competition” under the theme “Planting the Seed of Entrepreneurship in Fertile Soil” at the Jamaica Conference Center on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 and Thursday May 3, 2018. High schools from across the length and breadth of Jamaica turned up at the Jamaica Conference Centre enthused and eager to present their products/services to the team of judges. 
 
This year marks the 7th staging of our annual Katalyxt Youth Innovators’ Competition (YIC). The objective of this competition is to engage young innovators third (3rd) to six (6th) form to participate and develop an appetite for innovation and encourages students to become job creators rather than job seekers.   The competition also encourages students to find innovative ways of utilizing our native resources to create products/services that can bring about a positive change in our society.
 
The 2018 Conference was abuzz with activities as students huddled to rehearse presentations while others could be seen setting up innovative displays. Students and teachers were anxious to showcase innovative products and services.  The moment arrived for the long awaited judging. The judges watched enthralled as the students presented unique products/services. Some students delivered their presentations through the use of skits, dub-poetry and songs further exciting attendees and judges. Innovations ranged across several industries: manufacturing, processing, agriculture and tourism. Ralston Hyman an astute judge could not help but say “these students are brilliant” while team leader of Katalyxt Winsome Minott said “we must find a way for our students to be showcased on the world stage”. A total of 29 entries were received, approximately 119 students and 27 teachers were present for the judging.
 
The auditorium erupted in applause as the JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation gifted a sum of $248,700.00 to two winners of earlier competitions. The first round saw Penwood High School receiving a cheque totaling J$248,700.00 to facilitate the completion of the second stage of the project ‘Pyrolysis Oil’. The cheque was presented to the team by the CEO Ms Kim Mair.  Ms Minott thanked the JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation for recognizing the extraordinary potential of this product that could be a change agent for Jamaica.  She also expressed gratitude to JMMB for partnering with Katalyxt. 
 
The second round of judging also saw the Vere Technical High School team receiving a cheque in the amount of J$255,875.00 from the JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation. The funds will be used to take the project ‘Vere Enerflo’ to the next stage. The cheque was presented to the team by Mrs. Celia Ebanks of the JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation.  Mr. Blagrove used the opportunity to thank the JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation for the gift and Katalyxt for working with Vere over the years.
 
The top 12 schools for 2018 along with two schools that will receive special mention are as undernoted:
 
Aabuthnott Gallimore High School
Ardenne High School
Penwood High School
Calabar High School
Mount Alvernia High School*
McGrath High School
Nain High School
Steer Town Academy
Immaculate Conception High School*
Herbert Morrison High School
Jamaica College
Vere Technical High School
Bustamante High School
Hampton School
 
*Special mention. 
The presentation of prizes will be on Friday June 1, 2018 at the Knutsford Court Hotel.

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