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NCU's Natsima wins National Business Model Competition - Will represent Jamaica in Silicon Valley

Published:Wednesday | March 29, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Natsima Nutraceuticals team members Lancelot Riley, Oshane Solomon, Fiona Bowley, Shanea Wint, and Alston Miller after placing first in the National Business Model Competition (NBMC) last Friday.
NBMC judge Gordon Swaby, CEO of EduFocal, inspects the all natural asthma pump from Natsima Nutraceuticals at the competition's semi-finals last Thursday.

Northern Caribbean University (NCU) has, yet again, come away as the winner of the National Business Model Competition (NBMC) for the fourth consecutive year since the competition's inception with student-entrepreneur team, Natsima Nutraceuticals, securing the opportunity to represent Jamaica at the upcoming International Business Model Competition (IBMC) in Silicon Valley, California.

The Mandeville-based tertiary institution's team made their winning presentation to a panel of private-sector judges in the final round of the national competition last Friday, beating 13 other teams from four universities to also take home J$2 million in cash prizes along with the all-expense paid trip.

Runners-up were GenesisWay (first) and SOTARE (second), also from NCU; and ShopMobi (third) from the University of the West Indies.




Natsima team members detailed the process of their business model as they presented their all-natural and locally made formula to treat asthma.

Shanea Wint, chief executive officer, said, "I was born with asthma. I suffer from chronic sinusitis. When I was younger, my grandma gave me a liquid made from guinea hen, garlic and ginger. I decided to share my idea with my team members and innovate on it because when I would take products on the market, I suffered."

She continued, "Each time I took those medications, it seemed like I would get worse. So I said, why not create something for someone who suffers like I do."

Coincidentally, Wint suffered from a severe asthma attack the night before the finals. And, just before her team and competition coordinator Hazel O'Conner took the decision to take her to hospital, Wint treated herself with the Natsima pump, which stopped the attack.


... Natsima pledges to move asthma product forward

Northern Caribbean University's award-winning Natsima Nutraceuticals team has the support of the Ministry of Health, as they have pledged to help move their asthma solution product forward.

Lancelot Riley, Natsima's chief financial officer and chief technical officer, said, "We will be able to conduct clinical testing through them. We'll be working with other players in the industry and the ministry will be a major part of that going into market."

Riley also explained that doctors across the island have been recommending this product to patients after noting the natural ingredients, and urged the team to further pursue the venture.

Natsima is the winner of this year's National Business Model Competition and will represent Jamaica at the competition in Silicon Valley, California, on May 11 and 12 at the new and groundbreaking venue of the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.

Teams from scores of universities and business schools across the globe will compete for the grand cash prize of US$30,000 and the prestigious IBMC trophy.