Digital Wallet pitch takes top prize at third staging of UTech/Sagicor Innovation Challenge
PayAveta – a mobile application that functions as a digital wallet and remittance platform – was the pitch that took the top spot at the third annual staging of the UTech/ Sagicor Innovation Challenge. The four-member team that conceptualised the app walked away with half a million dollars for their winning idea.
The final pitch competition was held on August 17 on the University of Technology (UTech) Jamaica Campus in Papine, St Andrew.
First runners-up, Team InveStars, walked away with $250,000 for their idea to create a single platform where individuals can gain investment advice and make investments, while second runners-up Team Tech Mavericks won $100,000 for their pitch to use blockchain to secure electronic healthcare information (dockets) to a select decentralized network, making it available across providers.
Fourth-place finishers Team Techvice won the social media prize for the most engagement with their idea on digital media platforms, while the Faculty of Engineering and Computing was the top Faculty. Both awards carry a prize of $100,000 respectively.
Team captain of team PayAveta, Kashlon Palmer, said his team has been consistently refining their idea and business model.
“Last year we entered UTech’s business model competition with this idea, and we placed third,” Palmer shared. “We then developed PayAveta, and refined it based on the feedback we received, then we went on to enter the National Business model competition. The director of the UTech business model competition suggested that we enter this one, and we’re happy we did.”
Palmer added that his team will use the $500,000 cash prize to further develop their platform.
Held each year by the Sagicor Innovation Lab, based at UTech, the competition saw students across the campus submitting ideas that are expected to disruptively reimagine and solve issues across industries using technology.
The spirited round of pitches from the four teams in the finals included a question-and-answer segment after each presentation, where the panel of expert judges allowed contestants to clarify point in their presentations and respond to questions on their pitches. The panel – which comprised of members of Sagicor Group Jamaica’s Leadership team, as well as UTech faculty members – also offered valuable feedback to help teams further develop their inventions.
Speaking at the final pitch competition, Sagicor Group Jamaica President and CEO Christopher Zacca commended the participants for coming forward with their innovative ideas and lauded the University of Technology for fostering an environment that empowers students to transform lives with their creativity.
“As a forward-thinking company with innovation as a core part of our strategic growth, Sagicor is always pleased to be a part of events such as this one, where young, bright Jamaicans utilise their talent and skills to bring fresh new ideas to the fore,” Zacca said. “We are also happy to support them in moving their ideas and solutions from concept to reality.”
Fully backed by Sagicor, the annual competition challenges the students at UTech, Jamaica to come up with ideas that can benefit the Jamaican society, particularly in the areas of health and wellness, financial services, and insurance technology.