40 start-ups to get 'investment-ready' training

Observer writer

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

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Jamaica Venture Capital Programme (JVCP), a unit of the Development Bank of Jamaica, has selected 40 start-up entrepreneurs for a two-day capacity-building training session, with the aim of making them “investment-ready”.

“This is the second in a series of entrepreneurial events and initiatives that the JVCP has embarked upon for this fiscal year, geared towards building the capacity of entrepreneurs in preparation for investments,” stated Terry-Ann Segree, entrepreneurship and investment manager at JVCP, in a release.

Segree explained, too, that the initiative is part and parcel of the JVCP's focus on promoting access to finance through the building of a sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem, and will provide a platform for early stage start-ups to showcase their businesses to potential investors after being provided with access to preparedness training.

The entrepreneurs will be trained in two cohorts, with the first session getting underway this month, while the other will be done next month. They will be exposed to topics including: 'Personal Audit and Introduction to Finance', 'Creating a Winning Business Plan and Pitch Deck' and 'Exit Strategy and Valuing Your Business'.

At the end of the two-day training programme, the entrepreneurs who are investment-ready will be further shortlisted and will be exposed to up to four hours of coaching and mentorship in preparation for interviews and pitching events between the months of March and June this year.

The JVCP has secured the services of Sandra Glasgow, a founding member of Jamaica's first angel investor network — FirstAngelsJA — and CEO of BizTacticsTM Limited, to conduct training and coaching.

“It is a partnership with which we are well pleased as a result of Mrs Glasgow's experiences as an angel investor and her understanding of what investors will be assessing during the pitch events, as well as her expertise in the grooming of start-ups and entrepreneurs,” Audrey Richards, project coordinator of JVCP, is quoted.

According to the JVCP, the 40 start-ups were selected with the help of business service intermediaries which worked with the entrepreneurs in building capacity. The business service intermediaries are: Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship; Jamaica Business Development Corporation; Jamaica Manufacturers' Association; Technology Innovation Centre at the University of Technology, Jamaica; Mona Business Support Services based at The University of the West Indies; Morris Entrepreneurship Centre, Northern Caribbean University and Jamaica Exporters' Association.

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