The first and second runners-up in the University of T&T's (UTT) fourth annual Business Plan Competition have received $10,000 cheques from Evolving TecKnologies and Enterprise Development Company Ltd (e-TecK). Angela Hordatt, vice-president, business development at e-TecK, made the presentation at a July 15 function at UTT's O'Meara campus. E-TecK said in a statement that it has been sponsoring and supporting the competition for the past four years. "It is hoped that the budding entrepreneurial talent emerging from this and future competitions would directly feed into the planned Innovation Centre at the region's first science and technology facility–Tamana InTech Park.
The UTT is the educational platform which will fulfil the technical, research and development needs for established and start-ups at Tamana InTech Park. "This linkage would aid in taking ideas through the growing stages and into the final stages of commercialisation," E-TecK said in the statement. Carl Francis, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, speaking on behalf of Minister Stephen Cadiz, said competitions such as these promoted healthy linkages between creative, technological and educational facilities, which, in turn, supported innovation and entrepreneurship in T&T. "Innovativeness is natural to us as Trinbagonians, the challenges facing T&T today require that increasing numbers of our citizens are afforded the kind of tertiary education that produces these types of innovators, to be here today," said Margaret Richardson, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education.
First place winners were Abigail Liverpool and Giselle Lewis, of Organicycle. "The competition gave her the opportunity to bring her ideas to fruition by managing a small start-up company for turning waste into organic matter for planting," Liverpool said. Cherisse Ferreira, one of the creators of Bambusa Ltd, a bamboo manufacturing company, which placed second, said she and her team most valued the exposure. "We were able to get to express a different side other than academia–the practical application of academic knowledge was a welcome change," Ferreira said in the statement.