UG Graduates Apply for Guyana Innovation Prize
Five graduates of The University of Guyana have applied for the inaugural Guyana Innovation prize, which was created in February 2018. The Prize aims to promote and support research and ideas of students, staffers and alumni of the university, in the areas of Technology and Agro-Processing. It intends to create commercially viable and sustainable businesses that would boost the private sector and enhance the economic development of Guyana. This initiative is facilitated through the Guyana Economic Development Trust, an independent U.S. Philanthropic Organisation, founded and overseen by Guyanese diaspora members in the U.S.
The first batch of applicants with business ideas are UG alumnae who participated in the University's Undergraduate Research Conference, which is designed to nurture research talent and bring viable ideas to the fore, the particpants are follows: Lisa Dublin (Chemistry) - Activated Carbon for Water Purification - Household Consumer Product; Shavon Sharif (Agriculture and Forestry) - Organic Fertilizer - Agribusiness; Rebecca Harris (Chemistry) - Natural Antifungal Agent - Pharmaceutical Consumer Product; Juanelle Marks (Natural Sciences) - Computerized Cognitive Behavioural Learning Aid – Ed Tech Product; Tandika Harry (Agriculture and Forestry) - Natural Preservative for Fruits and Vegetables – Agribusiness.
The Prize which is scheduled to be held annually, is awarded on a competitive basis; and applicants are required to participate in the Trust mentorship (founder coach) programme, which spans a 12 month period. During this period, student, staff or alumni is paired with a mentor from either Guyana or the US, whom will give regular advice and guidance to participants on how to grow and develop their business ideas.
After the mentorship phase, the applicants will make a business pitch to a panel of judges who will decide whom to award the Innovation Prize, which will be in the form of funding to launch the winner's startup business. This year, mentors are industry experts in the US who will expose applicants to startup best practices, contacts, and international markets for their business ideas.
Applications for The Prize will open again in April 2019. In order to apply for The Prize, the following criteria are required 1. Must be a current UG student, faculty, or be alumni living in Guyana 2.Have a well-researched and commercially viable tech or value-added agriculture product/idea 3. Be “coachable” (willing to take direction) in order to build a business case that will be unveiled at the Innovation Prize showcase.
More information can be found at www.theguyanatrust.org.
Public Relations Division
August 21, 2018
- The University of Guyana