Jamaica is hopping on the startup train. Earlier this month, a new startup accelerator, Start-up Jamaica, opened its doors. The new accelerator leans heavily on Chili’s work with their own accelerator – Start-up Chili. The project is a collaboration between a ton of different parties: the Government of Jamaica through their Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining and the Development Bank of Jamaica, and The World Bank, Oasis500 – a seed and early stage investment company – and several other groups.
SUJ’s goal is to support talented and technologically savvy young people who are eager to tap into the global demand for creative mobile applications that solve real-world business and social problems, and in so doing, create their own employment. The accelerator is a key element in a strategy developed by the Ministry of Science, Technology,Energy and Mining (MSTEM) to help innovators and entrepreneurs in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean grow their ideas into marketable products and services, thus contributing to economic growth, increasing employment and generating foreign exchange. The strategy aims to transform Jamaicans from being “technology consumers” to “technology creators” over the next few years, and to position Jamaica as the hub for entrepreneurship and innovation in the Caribbean.1
The program itself is set for 100 days. The 100 days, according to the accelerator’s website, is used to walk the startups through a 7-stage program:
There is a seven-stage process, which starts with entrepreneurs outlining their idea in 140 characters or less. Approved applicants will then enter a boot camp in September and will get a contribution of US$30,000, including US$14,000 in cash.
Applications for Start-up Jamaica are open now.