Information For...


UVI Students Awarded $47K in 13D Entrepreneurship Business Launch Competition

Three University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) student entrepreneurs were awarded $47,000 at the annual 13D Entrepreneurship Business Launch Competition held virtually in May providing them with valuable start-up funds to pursue their business ventures. Jessica LaPlace, Christina Lee and Lateefah Evans earned $24,000, $17,000, and $6,000 respectively thanks to the generous sponsorship of Viya and 13D Research, the namesake sponsor. The 13D Competition is designed to eliminate the obstacle of financing for UVI student entrepreneurs who have great ideas for potentially profitable businesses but no access to start-up capital. 

“This year’s competitors overcame incredible odds to successfully compete in this competition,” said Dr. Tim Faley, the Kiril Sokoloff Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship at UVI. “The COVID-induced excess demands on student’s time – school, work, family obligations—definitely took its toll on the competitors this year. Our hearty congratulations to all of them!”  

In the competition, students present a “Shark Tank”-like pitch before a panel of judges for startup funds. Christina Lee impressed judges with her digital media marketing company, Fall in Love with the Virgin Islands, which proposed digital media devices installed in taxi cabs in the Virgin Islands. The devices showcase the best of the Virgin Islands through informational videos and advertisements that enhance the passenger experience and assist the driver in providing positive and accurate information about the island. “I decided to enter this competition because of the opportunity for me to be innovative and evoke change in my community,” explained Lee, a graduate student in UVI’s Ph.D. program for Creative Leadership for Innovative and Change. “I found the experience of working with Dr. Glenn Metts, professor of management and entrepreneurship, each week to be rewarding because he helped me and other students build upon our visions. I also got to meet and interact with others associated with this program and received valuable advice and guidance.”   

More information is available in a news release on the Media Section of the UVI - and from this direct link