JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Government’s initiative to provide mentorship and other business support for aspiring and new technology entrepreneurs ‘Start Up Jamaica’, is to get underway by September this year.
  • ‘Start Up Jamaica’ is a public/private partnership for economic growth and development which aims to help Jamaica’s innovators and entrepreneurs.
  • The Government will partner with local universities and the business community to provide the coaching and mentorship for the entrepreneurs.

The Government’s initiative to provide mentorship and other business support for aspiring and new technology entrepreneurs ‘Start Up Jamaica’, is to get underway by September this year.

This was disclosed by State Minister for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, while speaking at the Mico University College Alumni Association’s 30th Annual Glen Owen Lecture Series at the institution in St. Andrew on April 10.

He noted that ‘Start Up Jamaica’ is a public/private partnership for economic growth and development which aims to help Jamaica’s innovators and entrepreneurs “grow from being an idea to a product thus increasing employment and access to foreign exchange”.

It also seeks to move Jamaicans from being primarily consumers of technology to becoming producers of technology; and to position the country as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship within the Caribbean region.

The State Minister informed that ‘Start Up Jamaica’ will attract and support “early stage entrepreneurs and innovators who are utilising Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to create their businesses or to use their businesses to solve problems.”

Mr. Robinson said the Government will partner with local universities and the business community to provide the coaching and mentorship for the entrepreneurs in technical expertise, business and financial planning.

 “The intent is to get our tech entrepreneurs prepared to successfully pitch their ideas and/or developments to potential investors. It is expected that entrepreneurs would network among themselves and participate in professional development activities within the community,” the State Minister said.

He said the Government will be providing incubator services for these individuals, noting that a physical location has been identified for this purpose, and is to be established in conjunction with several private sector partners.

He noted that through this and other initiatives, the administration is harnessing the talent of young technology entrepreneurs and innovators, and preparing them to seize the endless opportunities that exist in this field in the global marketplace.

In the meantime, the State Minister informed that mobile boot camp sessions will be held at the University of the West Indies this weekend for finalists from the Digital Jam 3.0, ‘Caribbean Edition’ mobile app competition.

“They are going to participate over three days in sessions where they are going to be provided with guidance on pitching their products, they’re going to get technical feedback , they’re going to identify sources of financing and they are also going to be importantly, shown how they can take their projects to a global level,” Mr. Robinson  said.

The sessions will be hosted by the Government of Jamaica in collaboration with the World Bank, and Government of Canada.

Digital Jam 3.0 ‘Caribbean Edition’ is a regional initiative launched by the government in partnership with the World Bank, which seeks solutions to high youth unemployment in Jamaica and the Caribbean via new opportunities in the virtual global economy.