DevCa 2015 and the Caribbean Open Data Community

trendsOPEN DATA – How does the relationship between citizens and their government change in the age of the internet and online social networks? This is one of the questions that drive our search for knowledge and experiences to share at YoGobierno. One notion (among many others) that establishes a pathway for this change is open government data.

Government data is data and information produced or commissioned by government or government controlled entities.Open data is data that can be freely used, reused and redistributed by anyone – subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and share alike.

Globally, there is a growing community of people who are avid advocates of open data, and open government data specifically. The argument is that by allowing anyone to use government data, more transparency and democratic control can be achieved. People from the government, civil society or private sector would be able to use it to create new and improved products and services, government would be more efficient and citizens more involved.

For this to be achieved, the concepts, requirements, uses and potential impact of open data need to be communicated to citizens and their governments, which is why the open data community is constantly sharing actionable knowledge to implement open data practices around the world. Most recently, for example, on February 21, a global Open Data Day was celebrated in over 220 places. People gathered in conferences, workshops, and meetings of all sizes – organized by civil society, governments, or both – to learn what open data is, what can be achieved with it and how, and to discuss the challenges and roadmaps to follow this year. More

Saint Lucia invests in local tech sector

Caption: Cindy Peterson-Alfred, Business Incubator and Training Grants Manager, spearheads the workshop for the trainers of the ICT Skills Development Programme. Photo courtesy: CARCIP Saint Lucia

Caption: Cindy Peterson-Alfred, Business Incubator and Training Grants Manager, spearheads the workshop for the trainers of the ICT Skills Development Programme. Photo courtesy: CARCIP Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia is rolling out a series of training workshops intended to strengthen its information and communications technology (ICT) sector.

The workshops will provide orientation and accreditation to eligible institutions or individuals who are interested in conducting training for an upcoming ICT Skills Development Programme, which covers a number of areas including multimedia production, data operations, applications development, computer graphics, as well as system analysis and design.

Accelerating Caribbean entrepreneurship: CARCIP calls for Business Incubators

women-businessMarch 9, 2015. Kingstown—Businesses in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines have until April 3 to apply to provide incubation services to entrepreneurs, as part of an ongoing government grant funding programme.

Under its Information and Communications Technology (ICT) development agenda, the country’s government has been on a drive to accelerate the growth and success of entrepreneurial companies. 

Sun, Sea and Startups – Story of the Jamaica Tech Startup Scene

This keynote presentation made by our Editor Ingrid Riley at the inaugural Black Tech Week in Miami, February 23-28th, 2015 is all about the story of Jamaican Tech Entrepreneurship. While you had to be there to get the full effect of this story, we thought it would be good to publish it as a reference point for many.

Caribbean Crowdfunding #Startup Goes Live!

pitchandchoosecaribbeancrowdfundingPitch&Choose went live with its regional crowdfunding platform. This online fundraising innovation promises to address the challenges of attracting charitable donations using conventional approaches that many non-profits and alumni sssociations in the Caribbean are now experiencing. Pitch&Choose will also host fundraising by individuals who can launch campaigns onwww.pitchandchoose.com to attract funding for their causes and also for social and creative projects and ventures. Crowdfunding, through its reach to a large global community, has the capacity to help overcome the longstanding challenge of insufficient capital available for investment in creative industries and enterprising ventures. More

BLACK TECH WEEK to position South Florida as hub to doing business in Caribbean and Africa

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Black Tech Week

TECH EVENT - Black tech innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors will converge in Miami for the inaugural Black Tech Week from February 23-28, 2015 hosted at Miami Dade College North Campus.

Presented by Miami-based Code Fever, an organization committed to teaching minority youth how to code, create technologies, and become entrepreneurs, Black Tech Week was inspired out of the vision to change the narrative surrounding the Black community and replace it with innovation, creativity, and technology during the last week of Black History Month to stretch the trajectory of the community.

The Founders anticipate that Black Tech Week will accelerate Miami as the U.S. gateway to the Caribbean and the entire African diaspora much like the city has become a gateway to Latin America.

SAVE THE NEW DATE! The Next Kingston BETA is on Thursday March 5th, 2015.

savethenewdatekgnbetaSTARTUPS – The first Kingston BETA event for this year is now confirmed for,  Thursday February 26th, 2015. It’s our 8th year of staging Jamaica and the Caribbean’s first and longest running Tech Meetup + Pitch Off!  So save the date!

Get your pitches ready!

Your fellow tech/startup community members as well as investors are waiting to hear from you. Have a great idea/Startup to pitch?  send your name, brief description to ingrid@connectiMass.com. And have a read of our guidelineshere. We do Skype Video pitches from Caribbean Tech Entrepreneurs in the region and from the US and UK Diaspora as well.

Will you make the next list of Top Caribbean Startups to Watch in 2015 ? #jamaicanstartups#caribbeanstartups

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St Vincent PM wants new legislation to strengthen ICT sector

TECH NEWS – A three-day workshop examining technology and telecommunications issues in the Eastern Caribbean began in St Vincent on Monday with Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves underscoring the need to enact legislation to develop the sector in the sub-region.

Gonsalves told delegates from Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia and the host country, St Vincent and the Grenadines that he hoped the conference would examine possible draft legislation that would reflect the current technological needs of the region.

“I really am looking forward to you moving swiftly and to present me with a draft bill which I can subject a study, have the officials in the Ministry of Legal Affairs…look at it carefully and to have it out for public discussion.

“But I don’t want you to have this seminar and deliver the bill for me five years hence, because by then you will have to deliver a different bill for me because technology would have made several of your assumptions obsolete. So speed is of the essence,” Gonsalves added. More

Cuba’s pending tech revolution

TECH NEWS - Cuba’s entry into the modern high-tech era will require improvements to its electrical grid, a buildout and upgrade of its wireless networks and IT workforce training. This will not be easy, and it may not happen swiftly.

Cuba has an educated population craving technology, but it has little income for new tech. The Cuban government wants to trade with the U.S., but is paranoid about the outside world and has limited Internet access to 5% to 10% of the population, at best.

“The government has been very reluctant to have open Internet access,” said Harley Shaiken, chairman of the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. But “there is real hunger for technology,” and with the easing of the embargo, the government “will be facing new pressures,” he said. More

Jamaica approves CWC/Columbus merger

TECH NEWS- Jamaica is the first country in the region to approved acquisition of Columbus Communications by Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC). Approval was granted by that island’s Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister Phillip Paulwell.

In making the announcement on Thursday, Paulwell said he obtained major concessions for consumers in return for the approval of the acquisition by CWC of Columbus International’s assets in Jamaica—Columbus Communications Jamaica Limited (Flow) and Columbus Networks Jamaica Limited (CNJL).

SiliconCaribe.com’s Top Caribbean Startups to Watch in 2015

trendsThe Caribbean’s Tech Startup Ecosystem started with the first wave of Internet Startups in the mid 90s, inspired by, and at times clones of, the American success stories.

The region had, and in some cases still has, its own eBay (jamdeal.com), Yahoo (top5Jamaica.com), early social networks (caribbeanmassive.com and vibesconnect.com),online dating (caribsingles.com),alumni networks  (ackee.com), its own Search Engine ( is4we.com), Online Ad Network ( caribclix), Car Classifieds             (trinituner.com) and so much more.

It was a time when entrepreneurs bootstrapped, squeezed alot out of DSL Internet speeds, and without the help of accelerators, hubs or incubators, used primarily online advertising and affiliate marketing to make money. Some failed, learned and evolved; some made money, and others sold their websites for major money.