Katalyxt Youth Innovators' Competition launch
Katalyxt does it again! A subsidiary of Mint Management and Finance Services Limited, Katalyxt, in collaboration with sponsors - Jamaica Producers, Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), Jamaica Association for Micro Financing, Tru-Juice, Ministry of Education, EXIM Bank, and Bank of Nova Scotia - launched the Katalyxt Youth Innovators' Competition at the José Marti Technical High School in November 2016.
A strong turnout of participating schools made the atmosphere both interactive and exciting, and provided a space in which students could be enthusiastic about sharing their opinions and creative ideas.
In keeping with the mission of Katalyxt, which is to encourage innovation and to foster an entrepreneurial mindset, the 2017 launch kicked off with team leader Winsome Minott, who spoke of the importance of success. According to Minott, "Nothing beats the right attitude and perseverance." She emphasised the need to find innovative solutions, including new ways to bring products/services to market. "An entrepreneur must be prepared to face several challenges and never be discouraged."
DBJ, a sponsor since 2012 (represented by Mrs Keisha Facey), addressed the importance of securing capital for new businesses. She shared with youth entrepreneurs how to utilise capital to bring their ideas to fruition. Emprezz Golding of 'Talk Up Yute' also delivered a stirring message to the young innovators - more than 80 students from several schools. She charged students to "Talk up" and share their ideas with the world. "Talk is important, as it allows entrepreneurs to share perspectives and provoke thought." Using her own journey as an example, she encouraged youth entrepreneurs to begin with available resources. Golding encouraged the youth to, where possible, utilise resources available to build Jamaica. Kristen Cousley, a visiting entrepreneur now based in China, explored the potential of subscription boxes. Several students who could not contain their excitement, asked many questions with a view to starting on this innovative journey. Cousley sold well the concept of creating business in a box.
The schools received preliminary training at the launch of the sixth Katalyxt Youth Innovators' Competition. The team would like to continue fostering a deep sense of creativity and innovation among Jamaica's youth. The programme seeks to address many of the problems and deficits being faced in today's Jamaica by encouraging new thinking.
Mrs Lean Buckle-Scott, representing the Ministry of Education, noted that the ministry was pleased to partner with Katalyxt for the sixth year. She brought greetings from the minister of education and asked the students to give of their best. Conrad Wright from the Bank of Nova Scotia challenged the students to make use of this great opportunity afforded by Katalyxt, which was not available when he was in school.