Posts Tagged ‘projects’

Caribbean BETA, Showcasing ICT in the Region

// November 28th, 2011 // No Comments » // Technology

Sitting at the judge’s table listening intently to 17 Caribbean startups are the four judges: Marc Canter, Michelle Messina, Chris Reckord and Anthony Chang. In case you don’t know by now, this is Caribbean BETA 2011.

The inaugural conference which was a first of its kind in Jamaica, took place on Friday, November, 25th, 2011 at the Jamaica Pegasus. Caribbean BETA is “a regional technology entrepreneurship conference that brings together global experts and the best Caribbean minds on the leading edge of the tech business boom.”

In the second half of the event, startups were given a chance to pitch an idea, in the hopes of getting feedback about their concept and beating out the competitors for first place.
Dubbed “PITCHfest” by Connectimass Founder, Ingrid Riley – the pitch lineup included: Mobile and Web Apps, eLearning, Social Media, and Online Advertising.

Each startup was given a strict 5 minute limit to present, with an additional 2 minutes to field questions and receive feedback from the four judges. Each event in the BETA series encourages elevator pitches from startups – but this event was different – the audience was bigger and the best 3 pitches would receive a prize.

After approximately an hour of deliberation, the judges listed 3rd place to Socialite JA – a startup founded by Christopher Crawford and Klieon John. Socialite

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JA offers a range of services including: event marketing, on-line ticket

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sale management, banner ads, contributor space rental and engaging target audiences for their clients. Their ultimate goal is to help small organizations improve their promotional activity through on-line marketing.

The 2nd place winner was the mobile-application startup, TUMP – a startup founded by Rory Burchenson, Ramon Dunkley, Christopher Hinds, Omarie Case and Glenford Dickson. TUMP is a geo-location mobile application that connects users to business, events, discounts and deals in Jamaica. The app has features that include:

  • Around me
  • Nightlife
  • iWant
  • Freenis
  • Map it is proud to announce that 1st place went to DM3 Media for a pitch on a Social Data Network and business intelligence web application/ERP designed to reports and make better decisions. Please see the embedded presentation at the end of this post.

We caught up with Ingrid Riley at the ConnectiMass follow up “Digital City Mechanics Workshop” held on Saturday, 26th November, 2011 at the JAMPRO headquarters in New Kingston, Jamaica. When asked about the inaugural Caribbean BETA staging and future events she had this to say:

“We surpassed even our own expectations. We had just over 200 attendees and the instant feedback on Twitter and Facebook showed that we were successful in serving up an experience that people learnt from, were inspired by with this conference that also providing amazing network opportunities. Caribbean BETA will be annual, we will continue with our Kingston BETA bi-monthly meet-ups and we’re about to stage Jamaica Startup Weekend which is a 54-hour experiential entrepreneurial education event. And that’s just the events side of ConnectiMass. We’re on a mission to grow tech entrepreneurship in Jamaica and across the Caribbean we have much more coming in 2012.”




This article features content originally featured on the Silicone Caribe website, for more information on this and other events, please visit: We thank Silicone Caribe and its parent company Connectimass for encouraging growth and innovation in the Jamaican ICT sector by hosting the series of BETA events.

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Slash Roots 2012

// October 28th, 2011 // No Comments » // Technology

Hey everyone,

just want to update you on progress of the 2012 Slash Roots Developers Conference. The organising team is in full swing preparing for next year’s conference. The conference

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will be much larger and will have simultaneous events in other countries. Will release some more information as soon as I can.

Did you attend the last conference? We are interested in your feedback and suggestions for the next one. Just leave a comment on the post below.


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The Slash Roots Developers Conference

// February 17th, 2011 // 2 Comments » // Technology

Slash Roots Logo
Creating a technology industry that drives innovation and a community responsive to global trends cannot occur in a vacuum. In today’s world, specific institutional support systems produce the technical resources that drive business and competitiveness. The ./roots Developer Conference is about creating and fostering those support systems within the Jamaican context.

The conference reflects the goal of its parent group, Slash Roots – to foster collaborative innovation within the Jamaican developer and technology communities that is relevant to, and informed by, the needs of the private and public sectors. Slash Roots is a newly formed group of young tech developers and enthusiasts who have dedicated themselves to ICT development, guided by the belief that increased technological innovation and connectivity is crucial to the Jamaica’s development. The brain child of tech developer Matthew McNaughton, Slash Roots came to life through the union of himself and two tech entrepreneurs, Roger Pixley and Dmitri Dawkins. The trio has since grown to a sextet of organizers for the ./roots Developer Conference.

Hosted by the Centre of Excellence at the Mona School of Business, this year’s conference will be held from February 24-25 at the new UWI Faculty of Law Building.

The conference has attracted both local and regional attention and participation. Sessions include presentations by leading open data and tech developers from Cuba, Uruguay, the U.S. and from our local technology community. Additionally, persons outside of the tech development community will be speaking about their experiences as players in the second and third parts of the Slash Roots aim – the sharing and application of developed technologies.

The conference will also highlight projects that are innovative in their approach and which increase access to technology for the local population. This year’s main feature is the release of a new open data resource which has been developed for the Ministry of Agriculture. This data will be the subject of the conference’s most exciting element- the staging of a Developer Competition in which teams of developers will have 24 hours to create an application that visualizes some aspect of the agriculture data. Other activities planned include a Linux installfest and demonstrations from the Jamaica One Laptop Per Child Project.

The Slash Roots team hopes that this inaugural ./roots Developer Conference will mark the first of many annual ./roots conferences to come. We urge the Jamaican tech and academic communities, and private and public sectors, to show their support for this development initiative by engaging themselves in the conference events.

This conference would not be possible without the help of our partners, the Mona School of Business and the IDRC, who have given significant financial support as well as organizational guidance. In addition, the conference organizers would like to thank our sponsors thus far – Spatial Innovation, MC Systems, Lime Jamaica, Digicel, Samuda & Johnson, Pings Manufacturing and Trafalgar Tours – for coming on board in support of this effort.

For more information, to register for the conference or to apply to enter the developer competition, please visit the conference website at We hope to see you there!

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Embracing Social Media with Jamaican Hospitality

// January 26th, 2010 // No Comments » // Life, Technology

The internet has changed in so many ways since I first used it in 1996. From early on I realised the importance of branding yourself online. I created my first hotmail account with a phrase people would relate to me, followed by variations of one username for different forums and websites. It was only three years ago that I became aware of the true concept of online branding. Since then I have setup several blogs and websites to some degree of success.

2010 is a pivotal year because I plan to make this, a year of fruitfulness. Taking all of this online experience of trying different things and actually making it work. In December 2008 I launched my first major website I was surprised at how quickly it took off and honestly was not prepared for that level of growth. During the past year it has had its ups and downs, with issues updating content fast enough and the quality of content on the site. The difference between this site and others before it, was that it is designed with social media marketing in mind. User contribution was supposed to be the main content generator for the website. Unfortunately my user base was just not ready to contribute. This year I plan

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on re-launching the website for the 2010 Jamaican motorsports season. Not only am I relaunching but I am also launching a whole new online assault.

Besides all the goodies I have planned for I am also working this year on properly branding myself. Recently the main question people ask me is “What is this social networking thing and how can it help my business?” followed by “Do I need to be on Facebook and Twitter?”. There is no basic answer. As a Jamaican I appreciate social networking, because that

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is how most business deals are carried out locally on a who-you-know and who-knows-you basis. People are the main reason why companies constantly support each other, whether it be a family, social, or background tie. Online social media works the same way.

What else is in the works? Well I have four main projects this year, that I plan to stick to, as time goes by and they are further developed you will hear about them. You can also check out my Official twitter page @dmitridawkins or keep checking this blog for updates, but the majority is yet to come! Don’t worry though, if all goes as planned, you will be hearing about it. Ciao! Thanks for reading!

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