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Startup Weekend comes to T&T in May
The University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus, is doing its part in developing entrepreneurship in T&T by hosting a “startup weekend” which gives entrepreneurs an opportunity to network. Startup Weekend events are held in 400 cities around the world and on May 22 Trinidad and Tobago will hold its first event.
Dr Kim Mallalieu, senior lecturer in electrical and computer engineering at UWI, St Augustine, said the event was conceived by the Kauffman Foundation, a non-profit organisation. She is one of the organisers who would be responsible for project management.
Mallalieu said it is an opportunity for people with innovative ideas to explore how those ideas can be taken to market to eventually become lucrative businesses. She added that far too often there are students who have ideas to start companies but don’t have a platform to get started. “The concept is you have an idea on Friday, you go to the market with a proposition of the idea on Friday and by Monday you have a product that fits the market.”
The event is not only open to engineering students but to business people and designers as well as other interested people. Asked how it helps the economy to expand, she said: “It brings multi-disciplinary people of like minds together (so that) a critical mass can be developed. We (T&T) need to develop a community of entrepreneurs, right now we don’t have that community of entrepreneurs we have talk shops, we have conferences on competitiveness and workshops on entrepreneurship,” she said.
TECHNOCRATS TO ATTEND
• Passion to Profitability expert, Georgina Terry;
• Leader in strategic marketing, business & product development, Byron (Anson) Gibson;
• Organisational development specialist & CEO Odyssey Consulting, Anthony Watkins;
• Director, Centre for Competitiveness, Indera Sagewan-Alli;
• University lecturer, Simon Fraser;
• Software developer & certified innovation trainer, Derrick Lewis;
• Software Systems Solutions architect, Nicholas Pallai;
• User experience designer, Gem Bleasdell;
• Product designer and entrepreneur, Lesley-Ann Noel;
• Professor in the Centre for Innovation Development, UTT, Prof Denise Thompson;
• CEO KCL Capital Market Brokers Ltd, Kerwyn Valley.
Visit trinidad.startupweekend.org for more information.
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