Posts Tagged ‘Technology’

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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How’s The Economy? Ask the Bank

// November 5th, 2011 // 1 Comment » // Technology

I speak to my Grandfather who now lives in the US regularly and he always asks me how things are in Jamaica. Now I am no economist but I do like to analyse possible sources of data. While thinking about it the other day I realised that the banks more or less know the state of the economy before anyone else. Let’s look at the channels:

Debit and Credit Card Spending Data

Customer Address Data

Customer Cash Flow Data

Customer Salary Data and Company Payroll Uploads

Merchant Machines

Customer Loan Data

ATM Locations and transaction data

Most people bank with a single bank, so do most companies. Regardless of that fact, thanks to ATM’s, merchant machines and loans, banks have some access to other bank’s client info. I am not sure if banks already do this, but say you want a small business loan to open a business in an area. You provide a business plan to the bank outlining your target market and projections. The bank could run a report detailing similar businesses that their customers have bought from in the area, how many of their customers in the area match your target market and the spending power of people in the area based on ATM withdrawals.

Ever heard of Foursquare? It allows businesses to see who checked into their venue, great for customer service, but suppose the bank could provide you with a report on where your customers came from based on addresses linked to credit and debit cards? That info requires no user input besides their normal purchase. It could also show how often they come, how much they spend etc. This data is so valuable and can be shared without infringing on an individual’s privacy (as long as names and exact areas are not shared).

Currently some stores keep customer accounts which partially gives them this information, but what is the incentive for users to sign up? The more user input needed the lower the success rate of collecting the data. I also think individuals should be able to run reports on their spending habits. I try to carry cash as little as possible, so most transactions

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are done using plastic. Why can’t I run a report on where I spent the cash by category (food, auto, utilities) and where in the island or overseas (online vs. local). I should even see ads on my online banking showing me similar stores closer to my home (so I can save money and time travelling).

Overall Banks can provide reports based on industries and cash flow across the country based on their customer data. It’s what they use to decide where to install an ATM or new branches, it would just be nice to use it for other things as well.

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Free Idea: What is your HWT Street Hustle

// October 31st, 2011 // No Comments » // Technology

How many of you have heard the song Street Hustle by Specialist? If you haven’t I have embedded it below.

I like it because it captures the street hustle mentality in Jamaica. Which brings me to my idea. While waiting  by Pavilion Mall in Half Way Tree, Kingston, Jamaica yesterday I saw trends. I was intrigued at the diversity of people walking around and as usual thought to myself what would I sell to suit the different groups. So then came up with an idea for a website or fb app for people to input data (their personal preferences) and an algorithm would decide what they would sell based on what products they use and their personality.

Personality questions would decide how much risk a person is willing to take and if they are looking for a long term or short term hustle. The products they use determine what they would sell preferably, because why would you sell a product that you wouldn’t use or endorse?

So if you use a lot of phone cards and drink soda, the app should recommend you sell soda and phone cards in HWT. However if you believe in health foods and need a hustle you can sell callaloo, banana chips and bag juices. Alternatively if you want to get rich quick then it may suggest you run a “cash fi gold” scheme. I think it would be fun, hilarious and share friendly once the algorithm and interface is well designed. No two people should get the same result once you include a wide range of products. Don’t forget to include social media share buttons!

I get ideas all the time and most I don’t have time to develop. Ideally I would like to give away an idea once a week for others to develop. It should be a crime for a “good” idea to go to waste. Good idea of course is based on opinion. If you use it please let me know!

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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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Using Social Media to Activate Communities

// April 13th, 2011 // No Comments » // Social Media Marketing, Technology

Yesterday I presented at the Junior Chamber International St. Andrew general assembly. I spoke about Using Social Media to Activate Communities and Organisations. Unfortunately my talk wasn’t recorded, but please see my slides below with the main points, I suggest you view it on full screen:


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