Fri | Sep 22, 2017

J'can students excel at Diamond Challenge

Published:Thursday | April 13, 2017 | 4:00 AM

From more than 700 teams worldwide, a team of Jamaican high school entrepreneurs recently placed second at the Diamond Challenge, an international pitching competition for high school students.

The student entrepreneurs founded 'BoltBot', a mobile application that allows consumers to self-check-out at the supermarket, drastically reducing wait time for average consumers in supermarkets.

Daniel Chatani, a member of the team, shared that the Diamond Challenge provided him with an opportunity to do something he had never imagined doing.

"My teammates and I are thankful for the opportunity to showcase Jamaica's young entrepreneurs to an international audience," Chatani said.

The team travelled to Newark, Delaware, in the United States, after winning the local preliminary round of the competition that was hosted by Next Gen Creators. The four-member team, hailing from Kingston and St Ann, includes Nathaniel Christie, Daniel Chatani, Ruth-Ann Armstrong and Gaurnette Flowers.

As winners of the Diamond Challenge, the Bolt-Bot team was awarded a cash investment of more than US$5,000 in their business.

"We are always excited to open opportunities for Jamaica's youth to be on the forefront of technology and entrepreneurship. We are glad to have helped host the team and look forward to their future ventures," said Ja'dan Johnson of Next Gen Creators.

The Diamond Challenge provides a unique opportunity for teens to learn about entrepreneurship while putting their ideas into action. While many entrepreneurship programmes focus on principles of small business management, the Diamond Challenge focuses on unleashing creativity, encouraging a mindset of abundance and self-determination, and promoting purposeful entrepreneurial action.

The students were sponsored by the United States Embassy in Jamaica and Aim Edu Services.