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Hot Potato co-founder for Fair Play Awards

Tuesday, September 11, 2012    

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JAMAICAN-BORN social media entrepreneur Saadiq Rodgers-King will be the guest presenter at today's 12th staging of the Jamaica Broilers Group's Fair Play Awards Luncheon at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel.

Among the major awards to be presented at the event will be the JBG Fair Play Awards — Print with a cash prize of $150,000 and JBG Fair Play Awards — Television, where the winning team will be presented with a cash prize of $250,000.

Rodgers-King is the son of Kingston businessman Garth King and nephew of Dr Damien King, who heads the Department of Economics at the University of the West Indies.

Hot Potato was co-founded by Rodgers-King in a garage in Brooklyn in 2009. It has an online interface, similar to Facebook, but which links and facilitates people based on shared interests. Unlike other location-based check-in services, Hot Potato focuses on what users were doing rather than just where they were physically located.

Hot Potato was acquired in 2010 by Facebook for US$10 million, plus shares.

In an article published in the Huffington Post, Rodgers-King Saadiq is quoted as saying that close friends and former colleagues from MLB.com where he worked, were among his first employees, which numbered a total of five in November 2009, backed by US$1.4 million in venture capital.

"Selling so early wasn't something we had considered," Rodgers-King was quoted as saying. "I always joked that we would be either wildly successful or panhandling in short order." Still, he said, "It's exciting to have someone sort of say 'Wow! You guys are doing something interesting,' — that is a sort of validation."

Prior to Hot Potato, Rodgers-King led content acquisition and distribution deals as head of US Business Development for Dailymotion — a French-based, video-sharing on which users can upload, share and view videos and the second largest video site in the world after YouTube.

Before Dailymotion he spent five years at MLB.com in a variety of product and engineering-focused roles, most recently as director of new media which involves overseeing all social media efforts, Web efforts, web advertising and Web content development.

He currently holds the position of chief operating officer of Nodejitsu, which creates and licenses software for Nodejs applications. The company also offers software and services that enable companies to run their own applications on its public cloud or on the company's private cloud.

Rodgers-King is a graduate of Campion College in Kingston. He has a BA in computer science from Princeton University and an MBA from MIT's Sloan School of Management with a focus on Entrepreneurship & Innovation. He currently lives in Brooklyn and is always seeking to build on new ideas for his next project.

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