Grandma's herbal remedy inspires medical invention
When Shanea Wint was a child, her grandmother used to boil herbs and give them to her as remedy for the frequent asthma attacks she suffered from.
Fast-forward to 2017 when Wint, along with a few of her schoolmates Lancelot Riley, Oshane Solomon, Fiona Bowley, and Alston Miller from Northern Caribbean University (NCU) decided to modify her grandma's remedy to come up with Natsima Nutraceuticals.
Natsima Nutraceuticals is a natural supplement for sinusitis, cold and flu, with the aim of preventing asthma attacks.
"I was born with asthma, so while growing up, my grandma gave me these, herbs to drink," she said.
"There are many persons out there who suffer from asthma and also suffer with chronic sinusitis. This product would help to threat that."
When hit with severe asthma attacks, Wint was forced to make regular doctor's visit, as well as take numerous medications. However, since her team formulated Natsima, she has noticed a marked difference.
"By using Natsima, I realised that I don't really have to visit the doctor as often as before, and I realise that I don't have to buy over-the-counter medication," she said.
With a modified version of Wint's grandma's herbal medicines, the team from the Manchester-based institution earned the right to represent Jamaica at the upcoming International Business Model Competition (IBMC) in Silicon Valley, California, on May 11 and 12, where they will compete against scores of universities and business schools across the globe for the grand cash prize of US$30,000 (J$3.89 million) and the prestigious IBMC trophy. They earned the right to compete for Jamaica after they emerged the winners of the National Business Model Competition (NBMC) held in March, where they presented at business model for Natsima Nutraceuticals.
As part of winning the National Business Model Competition (NBMC), the team won J$2 million, which Oshane Solomon is hoping to use to help build their product.
"What we plan to do with the prize money is invest in the business, to ensure that the business gets off the floor," Solomon said.
Wint is also hoping to be victorious in the International Business Model Competition (IBMC).
"We are looking for success, greatness, because we are representing Jamaica, NCU and, most importantly, potential customers," Wint said.
The management studies and marketing student, who is also already looking beyond the competition, says she does not intend on using her degree to get a job. Instead, she has entrepreneurial aspirations with Natsima at the forefront.
"I would put all my energy, time and talent just to make the success of Natsima possible," she said.