REOI: Mobile Start...

REOI: Mobile Startup Training Coordination - Strengthening the Business and Technical Capacity of the Caribbean App Entrepreneurs

As a part of the Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC), the World Bank Group is seeking a qualified firm to train early stage mobile applications (app) entrepreneurs in the Caribbean in areas of business and app development. To respond to this REOI please register your interest no later than 11:59PM EST on February 20, 2014 via the World Bank's eConsult2 system (https://wbgeconsult2.worldbank.org), selection #1135206.

Project Background

The World Bank Group is supporting the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems in Jamaica and the Caribbean. In the past, relevant initiatives have included Digital Jam 2.0 and 3.0, pitchIT Caribbean, as well as the CARCIP program.

infoDev, a Global Partnership Program in the Financial and Private Sector Development Network of the World Bank Group, has the strategic goal of promoting the growth of technology enterprises. Currently, it is implementing the Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC – http://www.infodev.org/EPIC), a 7-year, CA$20 million program funded by the Government of Canada which covers 14 CARICOM countries. EPIC is designed to create and grow competitive Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the region. Within the program, there are three activity pillars (mobile innovation, climate technology, and women’s entrepreneurship) which are complemented by an access to finance component and capacity building for incubation professionals involved in the program.

Followed by extensive stakeholder consultation and market testing, the Mobile Innovation Program of infoDev (www.infodev/mobile) will be establishing the Caribbean Mobile Innovation Project (CMIP), a two-tiered partnership approach to strengthen the Caribbean mobile innovation ecosystem and to enable sustainable and competitive mobile app enterprises to grow. In order to provide services on the ground, the partnership will include supporting a regional coordinator in the Caribbean, who will work closely with local technology communities in six islands and virtually across the region.

Opportunity

Relatively low technical and business capacity by mobile innovators and promising startup teams is one of the key gaps and challenges of the nascent Caribbean mobile innovation ecosystem. Training activities in infoDev supported mLabs in Armenia (www.mlabeca.com), Kenya (www.mlab.co.ke), and South Africa (www.mlab.co.za) have shown that training, which is directly applied to startup development, has guided and encouraged teams to complete their ideas into marketable products, and it has significantly increased necessary skills (and their employability if entrepreneurship has not been an option). For example, a recent study by University of Nairobi (http://www.ihub.co.ke/blog/2013/06/mlab-east-africa-outcomes-two-years-later/) highlighted the successful outcomes of a training course by the mLab East Africa, which cover two areas of mobile development: business training focused on establishing and building a startup (i.e. monetization strategies, business modeling, and customer relations) and technical training focused on developing mobile apps (i.e. USSD, J2me, and HTML5).

The CMIP will be launching regional startup activities with local partners throughout the Caribbean in spring 2014. Followed by the promising examples with existing mLabs, the activities will include a mobile app startup training course, which will be initially provided to cultivate the top app entrepreneurial talent in Jamaica (to be identified through the Digital Jam 3.0 challenge), and then replicated throughout the region. infoDev has contracted an organization (“Content Provider”) to prepare a training curriculum for the Caribbean context (for more information see http://www.infodev.org/infodev-files/20131210_-_tor_-_mobile_startup_training_course_-_web.pdf) , which will include the necessary Train-of-Trainers materials that will facilitate an efficient knowledge transfer to a Caribbean training provider.

Project Objectives, Methodology, and Scope of Work

The objective for the Firm to be selected is to pilot the content of the training course and provide training to 40-50 developers and entrepreneurs representing Jamaican and Caribbean mobile innovation ecosystem.

The goal of the training course is to support mobile apps entrepreneurs to move their idea from “mind-to-market.” It is intended that the training course will be a part-time course over three to four months on nights and weekends in order for entrepreneurs who are currently working to attend. There will be pre-requisites for individuals to enter the training program. Since the technical training is highly specialized, individuals will need a basic background in software development / computer programming.

The curriculum, developed separately and provided to the Firm, will focus in two areas of mobile development, business and technical. The Firm will be trained by the Content Provider (through a virtual train the trainer arrangement) in order to facilitate the necessary knowledge transfer and to build the necessary training capacity.

Most of the training participants will be Jamaican, and a suitable training facilitation should be organized in Kingston. However, some participants are located outside of Kingston, including other CARICOM member states, which would need to be catered through applicable virtual channels. The

During the project, participating mobile application enterprises as well as the Firm are expected to significantly increase their skills and capacity related to key mobile app development aspects. Feedback during the project implementation will need to be systematically collected and analyzed.

After the actual training pilot, at the end of the project, the Firm is required to support the Content Provider with the refinement of the curriculum.

All responsibilities will be overseen by the World Bank Group, including external communications and PR, as well as monitoring and evaluation activities.

The estimated amount of work for the Firm is 55 days.

Deliverables

The training is expected to include the following parts:

Part 1: Project Preparations

Preparation of a detailed project plan with the Content Creator to when and how the training will be delivered

The responsibilities of the Firm will include in particular (but not limited to):

  • Inception report for the whole project
  • Detailed plan of the training sessions over the course of 3-4 months
    • Including the structure of each section (business, technical, investment readiness)
    • Timing (nights, weekends, etc)
    • Location(s)
    • Virtual delivery channel to cater participants outside of Kingston
  • Training logistics
  • Secure a location(s) for the training to occur
  • Contract any other necessary organizations and/or individuals to support in the delivery of the training
  • Work closely with the Content Provider and participate the necessary Train-the-Trainer sessions
  • Efficient communication to the training participants
  • Necessary training administration, including registrations
  • Necessary monitoring and evaluation activities, including baseline skills surveys
  • Train-the-Trainer participation
  • Participant Coordination


Part 2: Training Activities

Delivery of the training

The responsibilities of the Firm will include in particular (but not limited to):

  • Delivering the training curriculum to 40-50 individuals sourced through the Digital Jam 3.0 competition (a part-time course on nights and weekends)

Part 3: Monitoring and Evaluation Activities

By working closely with the Content Provider review the training and its outcomes in order to see areas which need to be updated and/or improved (including the training curriculum and the Train-the-Trainer material).

The responsibilities of the Firm will include in particular (but not limited to):

  • Survey and interview targeted participants about the curriculum and structure of the training
  • Complete a report analyzing the outcomes of the training and including suggested areas of improvement
  • Help to improve the Train-the-Trainer materials based on the analysis. The revised materials will be used to train other local organizations.

Timeline

  • February - March, 2014: Selection of The Firm
  • March - April, 2014: Inception Report, Project Planning and logistics, Virtual training from the Content Provider.
  • April – July, 2014: Implementation of training to entrepreneurs
  • July-August, 2014: Monitoring and Evaluation; Refine and update curriculum in collaboration with the Content Provider; Submission of Final Project Report

Submitting Expressions of Interest

To respond to this request for EOI, interested Firms must provide information indicating that they are qualified to perform the services (description of similar experience and track record, staff profiles, experience and networks across developing markets and mobile technology industries, etc).

Important qualification criteria include demonstrated expertise and experience in the following areas:

  • An active member of the Jamaican and Caribbean mobile innovation ecosystems
  • Staff located in Jamaica full-time in order to provide classroom training in Kingston
  • Experience delivering course curriculum and implementing training activities in the Caribbean/Jamaica, preferred if in app development and/or business development
  • In-depth knowledge and experience with mobile business and app development, specifically in Jamaica and the Caribbean
  • Knowledge of startup methodologies (i.e. lean startup, minimum viable product, business model canvas), and app design technologies (i.e. USSD, Android/BlackBerry/Windows Phone/iPhone Development, UI/UX Design, Mobile Web, SMS)
  • Understanding of operating and business environment of – and preferably experience in working with – enterprise enablers, startup accelerators, and business incubators in Jamaica and the Caribbean
  • Open and collaborative communication style with excellent interpersonal skills
  • Understanding of the World Bank Groups’ mission, development objectives, and how they align with the expertise of the mobile application developer community

Based on responses to this request for EOI, a shortlist of applicants will be invited to submit a full technical and financial proposal based on a detailed request for proposals. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.


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