REACH Academy, SIEAE, and SolWind Energy are the Jamaica Observer Mogul in the Making programme’s Ones to Watch for 2014.
The People’s Choice, chosen by online voters, went to the early childhood school, the Business Desk chose the mobile application development company SIEAE, which stands for Seeing in Everything Augmented Experiences, while a panel of judges chose the renewable energy solution company.
Reach Academy was built by four entrepreneurs — Vanessa Khouri-Salazar, Jodie Williams, Sean Williams and Kanna Coore — to cater to the varying learning needs of students.
The Widcombe Roadbased school goes beyond the chalkboard method of teaching to ensure that each child gets the knowledge, using tools such as iPads to enhance visual and audio learning. It maintains a small number of pupils in each classroom — 15 — to improve the attention that each child gets.
The school currently has classes up to the grade four level, and has 50 students enrolled. It aims to offer classes up to grade six, in which GSAT (Grade Six Achievement Test) preparations will be made, in the next three to four years.
Robert Farr, president and CEO of SIEAE, aims to revolutionise the way Jamaican marketers engage their audiences through a technology called augmented reality, which is an enhanced version of a real-world environment whose elements are supplemented by computer-generated inputs such as sound, video or graphics.
The technology has been around for almost a decade in the developed world but has only recently hit Jamaican shores, according to Farr. Once an object is augmented, smart device users can access the secondary images by simply scanning the instrument over the object. SIEAE, with its four programmers, including Farr, is targeting all individual users of smart devices and businesses with its technology. The company has already done a project with Nissan Jamaica, for which it augmented a flyer.
Lleana Benjamin set up alternative and renewable energy company SolWind Energy two years ago, to meet a need for curtailing rising electricity costs. The businesswoman didn’t pursue a course of study in the field, or work in the area prior to opening the business. But a master’s degree in entrepreneurship has equipped her to do almost anything. Benjamin’s focus is on educating persons about the benefits of cost-saving energy devices and delivering custom solutions to her clients.
The Jamaica Observer will follow the performance of these businesses to see how they develop over the course of the next 12 months.
This year’s Mogul in the Making programme, which was sponsored by Jamaica Yellow Pages and Scotiabank, featured 20 businesses, with the aim of celebrating their accomplishments and encouraging others to emulate them. All of these companies can be thought of as winners, simply by virtue of giving it their best shot in the marketplace.
All nominees received complimentary advertising in the Daily Observer valued at least $50,000, a specially discounted Mogul in Making Advertising Package for 2013 — 2014 and at least a sixmonth complimentary subscriptions to Jamaica Observer e-paper and the Daily Observer printed newspaper. They also received a framed award with their picture and congratulatory message, along with a complimentary copy of Quick Books accounting software from Scotiabank, while Jamaica Yellow Pages provided them with a full-colour quarter column display advertisement in the 2014 Kingston or Island Directory, free online listing and a gift package.
What’s more, the nominees will have their own customised workshop, geared towards the protection of their intellectual property.
The three Ones to Watch for 2014 also received a trophy, complimentary advertising in the Daily and Sunday Observer valuing $200,000; a one-year complimentary subscription to the Jamaica Observer e-paper and printed newspaper; a complimentary registration to Scotiabank’s 14-week business mentorship programme, Scotiabank Action Clinic, which commences October 2013, and a Gold website bundle from Jamaica Yellow Pages, which includes an enhanced profile page, video montage, weblink, and links to Facebook and Twitter.