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Office of Business Development

Innovate! New Venture Business Challenge 2024

Innovate! The Cave Hill Campus New Venture Challenge, sponsored by The Office of Business Development at The University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill Campus and CIBC Caribbean is a challenge that rewards staff for impactful and innovative ideas that lead to the generation of income for their unit/department and the Campus. The competition aims to inspire the entrepreneurial spirit of the Campus and provides a unique opportunity for staff at all levels and in all categories to become intentional about revenue generation. The challenge was first held in 2022. Click here to view photos and videos from the 2022 competition.

Members of staff, individually or as a group, are invited to develop a creative and professional outline business plan for an income-generating business or activity (product or service) that can generate revenue for the Campus and/or save costs. A total of BDS$60,000 will be up for grabs as three monetary prizes will be offered to the top three winners, who will have the opportunity to work to start the business activity within the guidelines of the University’s policies and ordinances.

All of the regulations governing participation in the competition are available by downloading the Competition Regulations Document

  • The competition is open to all full-time staff of the Cave Hill Campus both academic and non- academic.
  • Staff may enter as a team of two - five (maximum). Each group member must be a full-time employee of the Cave Hill Campus. Teams need not be members of the same department/unit/Faculty.
  • Each named participant must be available to participate in the presentation of the business plan.
  • The business must be one that can be implemented for the benefit of the Campus and/or your unit/department.

All persons interested in participating must register by completing an online registration form, which will include:
  • Basic information on each team member (name, department, job title, contact information). A maximum of five (5) persons per team.
  • A written note describing in 100 words or less: your business idea in general terms, including identification of the problem/need your idea will be addressing; your potential market; and how your idea is different from others in the market.
  • Signature of all team members on the form provided to indicate that the business is your idea and sign off from the heads of department of each team member confirming their approval to participate in the challenge.  
  • A 30–45 second video clip highlighting why you and your team wish to participate in the competition. 
The deadline for submission of Expressions of Interest is May 3,  If you change your mind about entering the competition, you must indicate this by email to Rosita Spooner at by June 30, 2024.
You will receive an email confirming your acceptance to the competition once your EOI has been reviewed and accepted by the Oversight Committee.  The Committee has the option not to accept an EOI if the idea already exists or the proposal is deemed not to be novel, innovative, or distinctive.


Winners are required to use at least 75% of the winnings towards the startup of the business in their unit/department. The remainder may be divided among the team members at their discretion.
  • 1st prize BDS$30,000
  • 2nd prize BDS$20,000
  • 3rd prize BDS$10,000
  • Special Prize for the Most Creative Idea BDS$9,000

February 29, 2024

Innovate! 2024 Competition launches. Here are some videos from the launch: 

March 11 to May 10, 2024
  • Five (5) workshops useful for the development of business plans, marketing and pitching innovative ideas will be delivered. Click here for further information on the Training Series
May 3, 2024
  • Deadline for online submission of Expressions of Interest. Portal closes at 11:59 p.m. No late submissions will be accepted for any reason.
May 15, 2024
  • Email confirmation that you are accepted to the Competition.
May 20, 2024
  • Competitors met their Mentors in a Mix & Mingle Kick-Off Session
June 30, 2024
  • Deadline for withdrawing your Expression of Interest in participating in the Competition.
September 6, 2024
  • Deadline for online submission of business plans. All proposals must be uploaded by 11:59 p.m. No late submissions will be accepted for any reason.
September 20, 2024
  • Competitors pitch face-to-face to the judging panel.
  • Winners of Innovate! 2024 are announced.
  • Awards and Closing Ceremony.
The role of the Oversight Committee is to:
  • Ensure that the competition is administered in a fair and transparent manner;
  • Make suggestions for improvements in proposed processes and activities; and
  • Assist in securing external assistance – advisors/mentors and judges
Members of the Oversight Committee are:
  • Prof Winston Moore, Deputy Principal, UWI Cave Hill
  • Mr. Trevor Wood, Deputy Chief Information Officer - Delivery Services (ag), Technology, Infrastructure & Innovation, CIBC Caribbean
  • Ms. Sonia Johnson, Business Development Officer, UWI Cave Hill
  • Dr. Yolande Cooke, Programme Officer, Office of the Principal, UWI Cave Hill
  • Mr. Clint Hurley, Manager, Network Services, Campus IT Services, UWI Cave Hill (Innovate! 2022 competition winner)
  • Mr. David Smith, Network Engineer, Campus IT Services, UWI Cave Hill (Innovate! 2022 competition winner)
  • Administrative support for the Committee is provided by Ms. Rosita Spooner and Mrs. Julia Bailey Smith from the Office of Business Development.
Please contact us at 826-0594 or 417-4541 or email us at