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‘Start Up Jamaica’ launch later this year

Saturday, April 12, 2014 | 9:17 AM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Government’s initiative to provide mentorship and other business support for aspiring and new technology entrepreneurs -- ‘Start Up Jamaica’ -- is to get underway by September this year.

State Minister for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Julian Robinson, made the announcement while speaking at the Mico University College Alumni Association’s 30th Annual Glen Owen Lecture Series on Thursday.

Robinson explained that ‘Start Up Jamaica’ is a public/private partnership for economic growth and development which aims to help Jamaica’s innovators and entrepreneurs “grow from being an idea to a product thus increasing employment and access to foreign exchange”.

The initiative also seeks to move Jamaicans from being primarily consumers of technology to becoming producers of technology; and to position the country as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship within the Caribbean region, Robinson said.

He added that ‘Start Up Jamaica’ will attract and support “early stage entrepreneurs and innovators who are utilising Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to create their businesses or to use their businesses to solve problems.”

Robinson said that Government will be providing incubator services for these individuals, adding that a physical location has been identified for this purpose, and is to be established in conjunction with several private sector partners.

“The intent is to get our tech entrepreneurs prepared to successfully pitch their ideas and/or developments to potential investors. It is expected that entrepreneurs would network among themselves and participate in professional development activities within the community,” said Robinson. 

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