As a follow-up to its recent Innovation Awards in Science and Technology, the Jamaican government has included, among others, three entrepreneurs supported by infoDev’s Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC) at a concept-pitching exercise in Kingston on December 4. The event gave all awardees the opportunity to present their fledgling enterprises to prospective investors and business-support organizations.
Phillip Paulwell, Jamaican Minister of Science and Technology addressed an audience comprised of prospective investors, copyright authorities and standards administrators, and called on the Jamaican business and financial sector to “take more risk and provide a window for angel funding and venture capital financing”. “Innovators are under burden because of debt”, says Paulwell, “and we need to inject equity to advance the commercial stage of the innovations we saw recently.”
Jamaican Science & Technology Minister Phillip Paulwell addresses the ‘Innovators-Venture Support Meet-up’ event at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica Auditorium on December 4.
During his presentation, Harlo Mayne thanked infoDev, its EPIC program and the government of Canada for their support in advancing his innovation, a hydrogen-powered generator that is intended to drastically reduce the use of fossil fuels in everyday motors. The 2014 Caribbean Climate Innovation Center (CCIC) Proof of Concept (PoC) winner also requested investor participation as he showed pictures of his latest prototype.
Jovan Evans showcased his “Pump-n-Spray” portable shower product to enthusiastic onlookers, and then made a pitch for support to engage suppliers and cover production needs. Oakley, whose CrimeBot crime-information mobile application won the grand prizewinner at this year’s World Bank/infoDev sponsored Digital Jam 3.0, gave an update on his mobile app, the formation of a new holding company, and some of the key short-term needs of his business.
The three entrepreneurs have benefited from a series of competitions, prizes and training bootcamps co-organized by infoDev/EPIC with the support of the government of Canada. In addition to participation in ongoing training and assistance with access to finance, these growth-oriented enterprises are also taking advantage of assistance with legal, standards approval and copyright/patent-registration services.