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 channels through which individuals are assisted in identifying critical success factors for businesses and planning effective strategies to chart the course for growth and development.

This year marked the fifth staging of the annual Katalyxt Youth Innovators' Competition which ran from September to May 2016. The objective of this competition is to engage young innovators from third to six 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 them to be movers and shakers of tomorrow's business industries, be they manufacturing, energy, technology, agriculture, among 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 submitted 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, 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, but in the end they came to a decision, and the top-12 winners for the 2016 competition were:

  • 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
  • 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. He was effective and inspiring as he encouraged winners to follow their passion. "Innovate, because you MUST," he told them. 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. "Passion and perseverance will take you a long way when starting a business," she said.

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

Other prizes:

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

Winner Vere Technical High School received a total grand prize of $30,000. 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. 

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