My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Animation after KingstOON - Oasis500 and Start Up Jamaica takes Entrepreneurs From Boot Camps to Angel Investor Networks

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Animation after KingstOON - Oasis500 and Start Up Jamaica takes Entrepreneurs From Boot Camps to Angel Investor Networks

Looks like VC (Venture Capitalism) is been given yet another boost as our successes thus far is attracting interest, this time from the Jordan-based accelerator company, Oasis500.

They’re so impressed with Jamaican entrepreneurial prowess that they’ve decided to invest some US$300,000 ($33.9 million) in local start-ups by the end of September as stated in “Middle Eastern company eyes $30m investment in local tech start-ups”, published Wednesday, September 10, 2014  by ARENA BENNETT Business reporter, The Jamaica Observer

To this end, an initial deal with the Government and the World Bank to invest up to US$30,000 in 10 tech entrepreneurs under the YEDCI (Youth Employment in Digital and Creative Industries). That project already got a loan from the World Bank to the tune of US$20 million over the next five years as stated in my blog article entitled “Animation after KingstOON - World Bank Invests US$20 million in Jamaican Animation BPO Brother from another Mother with Great Expectations”.

Oasis500 is basically investing in Animation and App Designers, or even entrepreneurs that do both such as Stephen Williams of Pandosoft of TapKat Fiesta Fame as described in my blog article entitled “Stephen Williams' Android Game TapKat Fiesta - Social Media Marketing even as VoIP for Corporate and Enterprise untapped Telecoms Opportunity”. Their investment comes with some strings attached however; along with cash comes mentorship, training, business support and a 20% stake in your company.

Welcome to the headaches of seeking funding from a VC (Venture Capital) Fund!

Oasis500 and Start Up Jamaica - From Boot Camps to Angel Investor Networks

Oasis500 is looking for strong contenders in the field of Technology, albeit the focus is clearly App building and Animation. Starting Monday September 1st 2014, 60 potential groups or Teams of such entrepreneurs have already participated in 45 hours worth of intensive training in the first for five boot camps.

These boot camps will be held at the held at the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS), Duke Street and will be tried out over the next 2 years of the YEDCI Program. They were given training and possibly software tools that would make them able to manage a business, specifically in the following areas:

1.      Digital media
2.      Mobile technologies
3.      ICT
4.      Digital content

Of that batch of 60 entrepreneurs, only 10 teams will survive and be appointed a trainer to develop their business models. They are then given the opportunity to pitch their business ideas and become a part of an accelerator program and if successful, they’re get funding from Oasis500, to quote Marketing Manager at Oasis500, Omar Alsharif: “If the jury decides that your pitch is good, then you will be selected for the accelerator programme which allows other persons to invest in your company”.

Starting in October 2014, each of these Boot Camp Style training is expected to last four (4) months over the period of two (2) years, with the next batch of 60 or more groups or individuals being taken on by March 2015. By then, they should be successfully running businesses which at that point would be able to seek additional funding from other VC via an Angel Investor Network that Oasis500 would introduce them to in order for them to expand.

It apparent that the good faith that the World Bank has show in investing in Jamaica's Animation Industry has already attracted VC's who see potential in Jamaican Animation and App design.

Let’s hope that this funding will eventually result in Jamaica becoming an Oasis in the Caribbean in terms of Animation and App design, especially app for Corporate and Enterprise as stated in my blog article entitled “How BYOD trend in Jamaica will require Local Jamaican Developers to develope Enterprise and Corporate Apps”, where the real money is to be found.

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