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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, August 9, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesUVI Students Garner $80,000 at 13D Competition

UVI Students Garner $80,000 at 13D Competition

Four University of the Virgin Islands students won a total of $80,000 in prize money in the final round of the 13D Entrepreneur Competition Friday on St. Thomas, according to the university.

A St. Croix team of Kalayar Myint and Duane Sydney came in first place, winning $30,000. Using the business name DK Shrimp Farm, Myint and Sydney plan to raise and sell shrimp in the Caribbean. Both graduate from UVI this month. Myint will receive a bachelor in business administration with a minor in accounting and Sydney will receive an associate of science degree in process technology.

“I feel great about winning first place,” Myint said in a statement from UVI. “We are definitely going to start our business — to supply local people with a cheaper price than they are getting right now.”

Sharon Seibert won $20,000 for her Ta’loo-ard Paddlesail business and Macy Miles won $10,000 for her on-line business Jaz’ Abroad. Seibert will sell her paddle and sail water sports products in the territory and on the U.S. mainland. Miles will create an online shopping business designed to allow people living abroad to get products that would be unavailable to them without her website.

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The four emerged victorious after presenting their business plans to a panel of six judges Friday. They competed against eight other teams with complete business plans and some with products, business licenses, patents and manufacturing supply lines. The 13D competition began last fall with 109 students.

The other competitors included: Thomas Bradley, who proposed the creation of Solar Section, an installation company; Mary George, with her plush Caribbean doll company Karibbean Kids; Dinahlee Brewster, with her soap and candle company Body Kisses; Sarai Smith, who hopes to open a shoe and leather shop, and Khanisha Figaro, who plans to distribute extra virgin coconut.

This year the 13D Entrepreneurship Competition also had a high school competition. On Friday, Antilles School Freshman Jonathon Woods became the first winner. He received $1,000 to start Rock City Hydro, a soil-less home garden company. Woods was presented with engraved trophies for his school and for himself.

Israel Soodeen of Good Hope School was awarded $500 for the second place prize. He is developing an online reservation website for local restaurants. Central High School team Sherise Gumbs and Jesus Rivera were awarded $250 for their school supply business. Each winning team member received an iPad Mini tablet. The high school competition concluded in April, with final presentations and judging taking place at UVI on St. Thomas and St. Croix.

13D judge and UVI professor Alex Randall encouraged all of the contestants to pursue their business idea. “We are all impressed that all of these businesses were viable, workable, ready-to-go enterprises,” Randall said. “You are all to be commended. All of you should be pursing these business ideas. Whether you win today or not go for it.”

UVI 13D Coordinator Glen Metts also encouraged the contestants to continue to seek funding for their businesses. Metts arranged for the students to hear from the Government Development Bank and the Economic Development Authority during a lunch break on Friday.

The student entrepreneurship competitions were made possible by a $5 million gift to UVI from investment strategist and entrepreneur Kiril Sokoloff, the founder of 13D Research on St. Croix. The gift supports 13D Student Entrepreneurship Competitions, a Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship Endowed Chair and the Entrepreneurial Speaker Series at UVI.

The first college-level 13D Student Entrepreneurship Competition was held in May 2012. The first presentation in the speaker series was made in March by acclaimed businesswoman and philanthropist Loida Nicolas. The 13D Competition is sponsored by Innovative Companies, which has committed $50,000 a year to support the entrepreneurship effort.

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Four University of the Virgin Islands students won a total of $80,000 in prize money in the final round of the 13D Entrepreneur Competition Friday on St. Thomas, according to the university.

A St. Croix team of Kalayar Myint and Duane Sydney came in first place, winning $30,000. Using the business name DK Shrimp Farm, Myint and Sydney plan to raise and sell shrimp in the Caribbean. Both graduate from UVI this month. Myint will receive a bachelor in business administration with a minor in accounting and Sydney will receive an associate of science degree in process technology.

“I feel great about winning first place,” Myint said in a statement from UVI. “We are definitely going to start our business -- to supply local people with a cheaper price than they are getting right now.”

Sharon Seibert won $20,000 for her Ta’loo-ard Paddlesail business and Macy Miles won $10,000 for her on-line business Jaz’ Abroad. Seibert will sell her paddle and sail water sports products in the territory and on the U.S. mainland. Miles will create an online shopping business designed to allow people living abroad to get products that would be unavailable to them without her website.

The four emerged victorious after presenting their business plans to a panel of six judges Friday. They competed against eight other teams with complete business plans and some with products, business licenses, patents and manufacturing supply lines. The 13D competition began last fall with 109 students.

The other competitors included: Thomas Bradley, who proposed the creation of Solar Section, an installation company; Mary George, with her plush Caribbean doll company Karibbean Kids; Dinahlee Brewster, with her soap and candle company Body Kisses; Sarai Smith, who hopes to open a shoe and leather shop, and Khanisha Figaro, who plans to distribute extra virgin coconut.

This year the 13D Entrepreneurship Competition also had a high school competition. On Friday, Antilles School Freshman Jonathon Woods became the first winner. He received $1,000 to start Rock City Hydro, a soil-less home garden company. Woods was presented with engraved trophies for his school and for himself.

Israel Soodeen of Good Hope School was awarded $500 for the second place prize. He is developing an online reservation website for local restaurants. Central High School team Sherise Gumbs and Jesus Rivera were awarded $250 for their school supply business. Each winning team member received an iPad Mini tablet. The high school competition concluded in April, with final presentations and judging taking place at UVI on St. Thomas and St. Croix.

13D judge and UVI professor Alex Randall encouraged all of the contestants to pursue their business idea. “We are all impressed that all of these businesses were viable, workable, ready-to-go enterprises,” Randall said. “You are all to be commended. All of you should be pursing these business ideas. Whether you win today or not go for it.”

UVI 13D Coordinator Glen Metts also encouraged the contestants to continue to seek funding for their businesses. Metts arranged for the students to hear from the Government Development Bank and the Economic Development Authority during a lunch break on Friday.

The student entrepreneurship competitions were made possible by a $5 million gift to UVI from investment strategist and entrepreneur Kiril Sokoloff, the founder of 13D Research on St. Croix. The gift supports 13D Student Entrepreneurship Competitions, a Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship Endowed Chair and the Entrepreneurial Speaker Series at UVI.

The first college-level 13D Student Entrepreneurship Competition was held in May 2012. The first presentation in the speaker series was made in March by acclaimed businesswoman and philanthropist Loida Nicolas. The 13D Competition is sponsored by Innovative Companies, which has committed $50,000 a year to support the entrepreneurship effort.