Advertisement
JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The successful staging of the Digital Jam 3.0 Apps competition (Caribbean Edition) in March, has set the stage for the hosting a Mobile Camp.
  • The camp will be held at the Mona School of Business and Management at the University of the West Indies (UWI), from April 11-13.
  • Digital Jam 3.0 ‘Caribbean Edition’ is a regional initiative, launched by the Government of Jamaica, in partnership with the UWI and the World Bank.

The successful staging of the Digital Jam 3.0 Apps competition (Caribbean Edition) in March, has set the stage for the hosting a Mobile Camp.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (MSTEM), Hon. Julian Robinson, told JIS News that the camp will be held at the Mona School of Business and Management at the University of the West Indies (UWI), from April 11-13.

Digital Jam 3.0 ‘Caribbean Edition’ is a regional initiative, launched by the Government of Jamaica, in partnership with the World Bank. It seeks to identify solutions to the high youth unemployment in Jamaica and the Caribbean through new opportunities in the virtual global economy, including new niches such as MicroWorks, e-lancing, and the applications economy.  It boasted a US$10,000 top prize.

“This (camp) is a follow up to Digital Jam where we have taken all the finalists and invited them to this mobile camp, which will further help them to develop and work on the ideas and concepts that came out of Digital Jam. So, this helps the ICT industry and assists these entrepreneurs to develop actual businesses where they can make money, as with mobile apps, you have a global audience,” he said.

The Mobile Camp, a collaborative effort between the Government, the UWI and the World Bank/infoDev, will bring together App developers from Jamaica, Barbados, Dominica, and Guyana. Efforts are also being made for a group from Trinidad and Tobago, to work with local mentors to help facilitate several of the sessions.

These training and investment readiness activities are aimed at providing guidance and encouragement teams to further develop and commercialize the mobile Apps created by these entrepreneurs, by increasing their technical and commercial skills and knowledge.

Mobile Camp is part of infoDev’s Entrepreneurship Programme for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC), a seven-year $20 million programme funded by the Government of Canada, which will provide training in technical, marketing, legal, intellectual property, and business areas.

The goal of the programme is to prepare each team for investment preparedness by the end of 2014. The Government of Jamaica has partnered with EPIC to offer this programme to the ‘tech’ entrepreneurs as part of digital jam.

InfoDev is a global multi-donor programme in the World Bank Group, which supports growth-oriented entrepreneurs in emerging economies through creative and enterprising venture enablers.

According to Toni Eliasz, who leads the mobile activities within infoDev’s Entrepreneurship Program in the Caribbean (EPIC), assists entrepreneurs to secure appropriate early-stage financing, and bring together entrepreneurs, investors, policy makers, mentors, and other stakeholders for dialogue and action.

As part of the EPIC Programme, the Caribbean Mobile Innovation Project (CMIP), which includes the Mobile Camp, is funded by the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development (DFATD). Already, some 30 persons have signed up to participate in the camp.

“The World Bank Group has been involved in a number of activities that are aligned and are supporting various aspects of this Government-led initiative. The CMIP’s focus is on supporting growth-oriented mobile app entrepreneurs in the Caribbean and bolstering the regional mobile innovation ecosystem,” Mr. Eliasz told JIS News.

“With the largest population of the 14 nations that EPIC covers, Jamaica has the most advanced mobile innovation system in the CARICOM region, in terms of talent and potential deal flow,” he added.