GREAT BAY, St. Maarten — The National Youth Pitch Competition is designed to promote financial literacy, hone entrepreneurial skills and foster innovative mindset among the youth on the island. This competition is for secondary school students. Multiple teams from the same school can apply. However, only the highest scoring team which completed the accelerator can pitch at the finals. Due to feedback and expected deteriorating weather conditions, the application deadline was extended to September 15, 2023, at 11:59 PM AST.
The first of its kind for St. Maarten, this competition has three main phases. The first phase is the application phase, where school teams of no more than four (4) students apply digitally. Included in the application is a start-up budget among other details. The second phase is the accelerator where professional experts pour into the student teams training them in finance, sales, intellectual property, and communications. Finalist teams must successfully complete the accelerator, which lasts for six (6) weeks, in order to pitch at the finals. The last phase is the final competition where student teams represent their school and pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges. The finals will take place on November 19, 2023, during Global Entrepreneurship Week.
The winner of this year’s National Youth Pitch (NYP) Competition will receive ANG 10 000, mentorship, and a summer entrepreneurial exchange in 2024. The school will receive the NYP trophy, which now sits at Milton Peter’s College (MPC), as the winning team, Upcycl, are students of MPC. Besides the grand prize, the audience both in real life and virtual can vote for their favorite student team. This team would receive the Crowd Favorite award of ANG 2500.
Any application received after September 15, 2023, at 11:59 PM AST will not be considered. Thereafter, a committee will score the student teams based on a detailed rubric. Some of the criteria include: creativity & innovation, viability, profitability, scalability, impact and leadership. Each category is of equal value. The highest scoring team per school will be the finalist team. Though the accelerator is open to all applicants, it is mandatory for the finalist teams.
Last year, more than 100 people were in attendance and more than 3000 people viewed online.
Organizers are hopeful that this competition will provide the youth with an opportunity to showcase their business ideas, develop their skills, and become more involved in the island’s development. In the long-term, this competition is poised to support sustainable economic growth through the development of financial literacy, entrepreneurial skills, and innovative solutions.
Islandpreneur equips island-based entrepreneurs and creators to embrace digital tools, accelerate growth, and profitably scale their businesses. It does so through media and a variety of entrepreneurship development programs. Official partners include the Ministry of Finance, the Bureau for Intellectual Property of Sint Maarten, and TelEm Group of Companies the official telecommunications provider.