Caribbean News Now!

About Us Contact Us

Countries/Territories

Jump to your country or territory of interest

Advertise with us

Reach our daily visitors from around the Caribbean and throughout the world. Click here for rates and placements.

Contribute

Submit news and opinion for publication

Subscribe

Click here to receive our daily regional news headlines by email.

Archives

Click here to browse our extensive archives going back to 2004

Also, for the convenience of our readers and the online community generally, we have reproduced the complete Caribbean Net News archives from 2004 to 2010 here.

Climate Change Watch

The Caribbean is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels brought about by global warming. Read the latest news and information here...

Travel


Follow Caribbean News Now on Twitter
Connect with Caribbean News Now on Linkedin



News from the Caribbean:


Back To Today's News

Caribbean youths look to create the next top mobile app
Published on March 10, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

mobile_apps.jpg

KINGSTON, Jamaica (World Bank) -- The next viral mobile sensation could be developed right here in Jamaica. That’s the message from the tech community to young hopefuls in the Caribbean.

“Technology can be the great leveller, not only in terms of location but also in terms of size” explained Lisa Harding from the Caribbean Development Bank.

“This is great news for the Caribbean,” she added.

From apps to fight rising crime levels to e-learning tools for pre-school and up, a prodigious talent and a depth of ideas reside in the Caribbean. It’s a potential which could secure the economic future for the region, and, more specifically, valuable career opportunities for the youth.

“We view the digital economy as a way to harness the enormous creativity that exists in the country and our job is to be the enablers,” commented minister of state for science, technology, energy and mining, Julian Robinson. “To take that creativity, covert it into businesses and earn foreign exchange and facilitate economic growth.”

Fulfilling potential

A real desire exists among the public and private sector to harness this intellectual talent and turn it into a powerful catalyst to kick start the region’s stalling economies. However, while the entrepreneurial spirit abounds, wide changes are needed in order to transform potential into reality, both within Jamaica and the wider Caribbean.

“Small developing countries like ours require this kind of innovation in order to make the leap we need to make and that’s what we have to do,” stated Gary Sinclair, CEO of LIME Jamaica who sponsored the event. “We literally have to leapfrog generations of legacies, instead of sort of sitting back and having these kinds of technologies just sort of beat up on us rather than adding value to it ourselves.”

A central part of the recent Digital Jam 3.0 conference was an opportunity for the shortlisted contestants to pitch their app ideas to industry leaders from across the world. But they weren’t just there to listen, but to act. And so while the finalists put the finishing touches to their presentations, the Caribbean’s private sector met to begin the process of creating the sub-region’s first angel investors network.

Currently, access to finance is a major barrier for entrepreneurs across the spectrum. Such a network would work to revolutionise investment and access to finance for wannabe tech startups as well as give the wide Caribbean Diaspora a clear route into investing back into the region.

“It [Digital Jam 3.0] really is beyond a competition, it’s beyond a conference, it’s really laying the basis for a full ecosystem, which is what we wanted to do,” noted the World Bank’s Fabio Pittaluga, who created the Digital Jam and KingstOOn projects.

There is a real demand for Caribbean talent. This year’s graduates from CARICOM’s new Animate Jamaica course were all snapped up by one company prior to finishing the course and there are still more positions available.

There is no doubt of the intelligence and capabilities of the Caribbean’s youth. In fact, their skills are already on a par with those found in other regions with a much more developed telecommunications sector.

Events such as Digital Jam 3.0 and the future launch of StartUp Jamaica, a body to foster the development of creative startups in the country, focus the attention this dormant potential. They convoke both the private and public sector and propose practical solutions to combatting low economic growth, high youth unemployment and help secure a brighter future for talented individuals like Digital Jam 3.0’s Grand Prize winner, Gareth Thompson

“It's shocking to see how an idea can really become a reality,” said Thompson, whose team won the Digial Jam 3.0 Grand Prize. “We have to have a serious next step, which is developing Crimebot further and trying to address the real issue: Crime,” he added.

For Gareth and the other winners of Digital Jam 3.0, the next step really is serious. Pledges were made across the two days to incubate and develop the talent found in the Caribbean, with the aim of transforming them from ideas to a profitable business model, which hopefully will inspire the next generation of app developers in the Caribbean.
 
Reads: 1957





Click here to receive daily news headlines from Caribbean News Now!



Back...

Comments:

No comments on this topic yet. Be the first one to submit a comment.

Back...

Send us your comments!  

Send us your comments on this article. All fields are required.

For your contribution to reach us, you must (a) provide a valid e-mail address and (b) click on the validation link that will be sent to the e-mail address you provide.  If the address is not valid or you don't click on the validation link, we will never see it!

Your Name:

Your Email:

(Validation required)

Comments:
Enter Code





Disclaimer
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment author and are not representative of Caribbean News Now or its staff. Caribbean News Now accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Caribbean News Now reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments. Any content that is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will not be approved.
Before posting, please refer to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.



Other Headlines:



Regional Sports: