Gordon Swaby, Innovator

Gordon Swaby, Innovator

The Digital Life

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

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You are never too young to innovate. That must have been the mantra of Gordon Swaby when at 15 he created one of the largest video gaming resources websites in the Caribbean.

It was the start of what would become a lifelong passion and pursuit of technology, particularly in the educational sphere as well as a commitment to community development.

Today, Swaby is the CEO of EduFocal Limited, a medium-sized company employing more than 25 people, part and full time; a company he founded in 2012 “to use technology to enrich the learning experience outside of the classroom.”

With almost a decade's worth of experience operating in the education technology space, EduFocal, with its recent investment from Mayberry Investments Ltd is poised for even more significant growth in the short to medium to term.

The availability of this online platform was prescient in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic which forced the Ministry of Education, private school operators, teachers and students to turn to technology to remain current with their syllabuses.

EduFocal has, since mid-March 2020, been able to offer free online PEP classes and resources, with over $25 million in support from corporate partners Wisynco Group Limited, Tru-Juice, JP St Mary's, Sagicor Foundation, National Baking Company Foundation, NCB Foundation, and Hawkeye.

EduFocal co-founder and CEO, Gordon Swaby, stated that more than 40,000 students have signed up for the service over the period resulting in a 4000-5000 per cent traffic increase on the site. The initiative, he said, led to the creation of temporary jobs for 20+ people, including teachers – who moderate the online sessions – and technical support personnel.

The innovator come entrepreneur had earlier founded Iconictouch, a concept and design outfit, leading to his work with key organisations and institutions across Jamaica. Swaby's work drew the attention of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) which recognised him as one of 50 under 50-year-olds destined to shape this country's future.

In 2012, The University of Technology named Swaby as the “Top Client of the Student Incubator” and top student entrepreneur.

Swaby is the Founding Curator of the Global Shapers Kingston Hub, an initiative of the World Economic Forum. The Hub is a network developed and led by young people showing exceptional potential, drive and a commitment to community development.

Further recognition has come from the Inter-American Development Bank as he and nine others from Latin America and the Caribbean presented their innovative ideas to the President and Board of the Bank at a special meeting in Bahia, Brazil.

In 2016, the BBC labelled his company Digital Disruptors in a special documentary aired worldwide on all their networks.

“My next step is to prepare for our eventual listing on the JSE with the guidance of Mayberry and to continue to create value for our children and our other stakeholders”.

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