Caribbean entrepreneurs who are looking for funding to develop new or existing businesses are being encouraged to look to their own nationals living abroad. “Diaspora financing should be explored as a source of funding for entrepreneurs”, said Aun Rahman, head of the infoDev Access to Finance Programme, at the World Bank Group.
Ahead of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2014, we at Connectimass Foundation reflect on our tech event Kingston BETA- which is the first and longest running Tech Community meetup in the Caribbean. It’s also just ahead of celebrating 8 years in kickstarting the tech startup movement here in Jamaica, when we had our first event on February 28th, 2007. At that meetup with 90 early tech adopter attendees and 3 Caribbean countries represented. It has grown into the hub of Jamaica’s tech startup scene and a platform of inspiration and connection also for a number of Caribbean entrepreneurs-over 60 events, 6000 attendees and 200 entrepreneurs who have pitched their ideas.
As with all journey’s, Kingston BETA has enjoyed a rollercoaster of a ride of ebbs and flows all fueling its growth these past years. It has become the go to place for inspiring, connecting and training of aspiring and current Jamaican and Caribbean tech entrepreneurs. It has hosted visitors from Silicon Valley (West Coast USA), Silicon Alley (NewYork), Silicon Roun-a-bout (London), local, regional and international investors, Government Ministers and officials, CEOs and executives from Corporate Jamaica, Development Executives from WorldBank and IDB and so many more.
This Thursday is our Last event for 2014
We are staging our final event for 2014 this Thursday November 13th, 2014 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, 6:30pm $500. Drinks Included. 8 Entrepreneurs from the local scene including 2 from the Caribbean Diaspora who have signed up to pitch their tech driven ideas. We will have announcements from members of the Tech Community and a few special guests. Join our community, See you there
Follow the action on Thursday by joining us on Twitter @kingstonbeta and hashtad #kgnbeta
To establish almost any business takes, among other things, hard work, dedication and sacrifice. Globally, well over 90% of businesses are classified as micro-enterprises, that is having less 10 employees, and in many instances, they comprise just the business owner. A recent survey conducted by the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) revealed that the incorporation of ICT/technology was “an area of major need” for Jamaica’s micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) (Source: Jamaica Gleaner).
Farmers in the Caribbean are being encouraged to make more use of farm apps and other forms of ICT in an effort to increase the knowledge available for making sound, profitable farming decisions. Peter Thompson of Jamaica’s Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) said Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology is being increasingly used to track “localised conditions, pests and disease prevalence. The technology will not only add value to us but to the farmers in giving information that they need.”
TECH EVENT- Are you an aspiring or current entrepreneur, designer, developer, college student or tech enthusiast, investor, potential mentor- join the longest running Tech Startup Community Meetup in the Caribbean– we want to see you at the next KINGSTON BETA -Jamaica’s Tech Community Meetup on Thursday November 13th, 2014 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, 6:30 p.m-9:30p.m, Community Contribution is $500.
This is event is produced by us here at Silicon Caribe and ConnectiMass Foundation!
PITCH YOUR IDEA or STARTUP
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 guidelines here. We welcome Skype Video pitches from Caribbean Tech Entrepreneurs in the region and the Diaspora as well.
And yes, this year marks the 7th anniversary of ConnectiMass Foundation staging Kingston BETA. Over 50 events, 5000 attendees and 250 Jamaican/Caribbean entrepreneurs are come to our events. Entrepreneurs and the event itself has been awarded and also featured in local, regional and international media and events and we’ve only just begun.
JOIN US: Follow @Kingstonbeta @connectimass in the meantime!
Node420, a Young Jamaican team wins AgriHack Talent Caribbean contest at 13th Caribbean Week of Agriculture
ICT4AG - And the winner is… Node420, from Jamaica. The team’s application, also called Node420, offers real-time weather analysis and automatic yield forecasts for farmers. The AgriHack Talent Caribbean contest, organised by CTA and partners, came to a close during the 13th Caribbean Week of Agriculture, held this week in Paramaribo, Suriname. The winning teams designed agricultural apps that can forecast crop yields, improve pest management and put farmers in touch with market outlets.
Second prize went to CropGuard, from Barbados, an app that seeks to enhance food security by helping farmers to protect their crops through pest diagnosis, monitoring and control. Third prize was awarded to UNICODE, from Suriname, with an application called Agri-Kari, designed to help farmers manage their land and sell their products.
TECH NEWS - Out of an initiai pool of 500 global applicants, three Jamaicans who are competing for US$15,000 ($1.6 million) are semi-finalists in the Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) Tech-I competition. They are among a field of 67 contestants. Jermaine Henry, Dmitri Dawkins and Sheldon Duncombe hope to change Jamaica’s economic landscape by creating efficiencies and reducing operation costs in various sectors.
Dawkins is pitching a technology, research and development firm which practises lean start-up methodology to create solutions for businesses and government entities in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector. More
With the theme, TOWARDS A DYNAMIC ECOSYSTEM – linking capital, innovation, entrepreneurship for growth, The Development Bank of Jamaica and its partners will host the 2nd Annual Venture Capital Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre, Downtown Kingston, Jamaica.
Here is what DBJ Promises!
The content: At the 2014 Venture Capital Conference you will have the opportunity of participating in eye-opening discussions on the business and practices of venture capital and private equity. Substantive conversations focus on the opportunities for investment, the business of investing, knowing when your business is VC ready and choosing the right opportunities in these rough economic times. The topical issue of women entrepreneurs, their successes, opportunities, obstacles and challenges for growth through VC financing will be focus of one of our panel discussions.
In the face of the mounting economic and social challenges, the Caribbean urgently needs to tap into new sources of growth. Across the region, the search is on for areas that will create new job opportunities, improve its competitiveness and drive innovation. Creation of a Single ICT Space in CARICOM is expected to provide tremendous benefits, if the region can muster the collective strength to make it a reality.
On the global stage, strategic use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is widely acknowledged as a critical pillar for sustainable and inclusive growth. However, the Caribbean lacks a genuine single market for electronic communications. Seeking to address this, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government recently announced plans to establish a CARICOM Single ICT Space.