High hopes for Slush
“We are super-excited. The tremendous networking, mentoring, and exposure would mean the world to us,” said Aldain Reid, CEO of First Responders Technology designers of First Alert, a mobile platform for emergency response services.
“I am elated. Ours is a platform that is unique, viable and has the potential to create a huge impact among young people in Jamaica, the Caribbean and across the globe, I believe we will do well,” said Lanisia Rhoden of Link Your Purpose, an online career development and mentoring platform. So what are the solutions they are providing for some of the region’s pressing concerns?
First Responders Technology: Facilitating Critical Emergency Medical Services
First Responders Technology developed First Alert, which they say is the world’s first mobile-native emergency dispatch platform that allows users to access crucial emergency services at the touch of a button on their smartphone.
“The absence of coordinated emergency services often results in deaths in developing countries,” explains Reid. First Alert provides a range of emergency dispatch solutions including 24-hour emergency medical dispatch and roadside assistance. Once subscribers get onto the app, First Alert procures the users’ profiles, medical history, and geographical location. First Alert then dispatches a medical response team using international protocols. “We will measure our success by the number of lives saved,” stated Reid.
Link Your Purpose: Charting New Career Pathways for Youth
Link Your Purpose is an online career development platform that helps young people to identify and fulfill their career goals. “There is currently no web/mobile application/software that allows youth to take fun interactive psychometric tests and then based on the results recommends the subjects they need to pursue and directs them to the best colleges and universities offering courses to help them realize their career choice,” said Reid. “Additionally, many young people have never met or spoken with anyone who is pursuing the career or working in the field that they are interested in. Link Your Purpose will solve this problem.”
The company provides career guidance to youth through its blog and informs them about opportunities internationally through its social media platforms. “We have an online mentoring community, where young people can book one-hour mentoring sessions with professionals and experts who have been practicing in the field that they are interested in for many years. This is our competitive advantage and unique selling point,” underscored Rhoden.
Kudos for PitchIT
The entrepreneurs had high praise for the Caribbean Mobile Innovation Project’s PitchIT program and for the help it has given them to develop their products.
“It is an excellent accelerator program that was well-needed in the Caribbean. It has really helped entrepreneurs, like myself, who are trying to solve problems using technology to get feedback on our products from coaches, experts, and peers and provide a community for us to validate, pivot, test, network, and launch our products/services,“ said Rhoden.
“I was previously unaware, but so far the experience and opportunity have been great,” said Reid.
Believe and persist
They also had useful advice for other up-and-coming entrepreneurs. “Be open to taking advice from experts and coaches, and do not be afraid of validating your product/service among potential customers, as this will help you to pivot if you need to and create an even better product/service,” Rhoden added.
“Don’t be limited by your geographical location. It’s a level playing field. If you have a great idea and believe in it, keep working at it. You can develop a mobile app that solves a pressing problem and can help make the world a far better place,” urged Reid. For further information on the companies and their solutions, visit:
About Slush and Slush GIA
Slush is a dynamic event that brings together 17,500 attendees, including over 2,000 start-ups from 124 countries. Slush Global Impact Accelerator (GIA) is a program created in collaboration with Finland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other multiple global partners. It supports impact start-ups and showcases exciting business opportunities in emerging markets which are vital for implementing the Agenda 2030 and solving complex challenges. At Slush the teams will be seeking partnerships, funding, and perhaps even buyers for their enterprises. They will also pitch to a panel of judges and an audience of regional and global leaders in tech and business.
About PitchIT Caribbean
PitchIT Caribbean is a program aimed at enhancing the mobile app development ecosystem across CARICOM. It is designed to accelerate mobile app entrepreneurs through the start-up life cycle, which runs from ideation to pitch, from pitch to market and from market to maturity.
It currently supports four Hubs, one each in Barbados, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad & Tobago. PitchIT Caribbean is the central operation of the Caribbean Mobile Innovation Project, which is part of the Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC), an initiative funded by the government of Canada and executed by infoDev/World Bank Group, through a three-party Caribbean consortium, led by UWI Consulting Inc., working along with Mona School of Business and Management, and Mona Business Support Services.