In Jamaica as is the case with just about very post-colony black state, education is considered tops. From an early age we are inculcated with the desire to excel academically, it’s our ticket out of poverty, our parents/guardians retirement plan.
We just love to hear stories of exceptional young Jamaicans beating the odds and excelling academically so much so that we have created a phrase for them ‘bright like a mawnin star’ which is our version of bright spark.
In this technology driven future everything in our lives will eventually be touched shaped and changed by technology (if it hasn’t already), education is no. Our new ‘mawnin stars’ are heavily teched-out and are using their collective geniuses to wage a tech revolution locally and regionally.
And, as more of our bright sparks begin to explore non-traditional tech-centric fields like robotics, launch innovative tech startups, develop software, and facilitate the big tech conversations, the more the world is beginning to take notice.
Here are the people tech-ing Jamaica, adding their names to the global tech consciousness in 2020 and beyond.
Co-founder & Executive Director of Next Gen Creators
Since the beginning of his career Nicholas has launched several companies in multiple sectors to include education, tech and sales. His most notable contribution to the local tech field is Next Gen Creators, a non-profit organization aimed at promoting software development and tech-entrepreneurship for youths in the Caribbean.
At only 25 Nicholas is extremely accomplished by any measure, his talents have secured him major internships and opportunities with global agencies like NASA, CERN, the Red Cross International and the United Nations all of whom he has workedwithon developing various renewable energy-related projects and policy reforms for ‘developing countries’ and refugee camps.
He is now the Jamaica Youth Ambassador to the Commonwealth, his primary areas of focus being Economic Development & Opportunity, Technology and Education. In this role, he highlights the importance of technology and digital literacy in societies of developing countries in the Commonwealth.
Nicholas spends the majority of his time consulting with various government agencies and private organizations throughout the diaspora to help implement technological solutions into their societies.
CEO & Founder of Preelabs
?????Jamaican #ClimateAction Innovator, Yekini Wallen Bryan innovated @powerpree. Watch him explain how it helps you cut down on energy usage & costs while fighting #ClimateChange. He presented at UNDP’s Social Good Summit 2019. #SGS2019 #2030Now pic.twitter.com/dMyb4xBEOI— UNDP Multi Country Office in Jamaica (@UNDPJamaica) October 2, 2019
Yekini holds a double major honors degree in Electronics, Energy and Environmental Physics from the University of the West Indies and is currently in the process of completing an MPhil in Electronics Engineering.
He was also heavily involved in UWI’s robotics programme for a number of years, with every trophy that has ever been won by the University coming under his leadership whilst either captaining or coaching the team.
In 2016, he launched PreeLabs Ltd., a tech based engineering company focused on providing sustainable automation and remote monitoring solutions. The most well known being PowerPree – a line of devices that allows people to monitor and control their electrical appliances from anywhere in the world from their smartphone or computer.
This impressive young tech entrepreneur has gone from strength to strength having recently won the first-ever Global Water Partnership-Caribbean (GWP-C) Young Caribbean Water Entrepreneurs Shark Tank Competition. He was among only seven (7) finalists in the regional competition and delivered the winning pitch to secure the top prize of 4,000 Euros.
CEO & Founder of Gizzada Limited
As early as the 2nd form (grade 8) Chris began teaching himself how to program by recreating characters the characters in one of his favourite online games. By the 5th form he began experimenting with and expanding on the programs he had created for those games. He was convinced he could rework these systems to make them useful in his every day life.
Those experiments have led to several failed attempts, his favourite being ourdancehall.com which was supposed to be an online radio he launched back in 2013. He has since reworked that idea into JahMah an online radio with manned by an AI DJ.
He has since developed and launched several other successful mobile and web platforms through his company Gizzada Limited, a boutique software development company “focused on creating platforms that improve the lives of the people and economies of the Caribbean”.
Christopher has become familiar face on this platform — partly because I am so impressed with his accomplishments but in the main because of his mindset. From an early age he figured out exactly what he wanted to do and ever since then he has stayed in his lane, not doing anything he didn’t want to do.
Founder & Chief Designer/Developer of Blackbrd
Kori is a talented UX/UI consultant whose perspective is narrowed around user-focused design. He truly believes that there is always a simple and creative solution to complex design and development problems.
He is multidisciplined within the field with skill sets ranging from visual conceptualization, user flows and prototypes; to design and identity development. In addition to web & mobile applications, he also enjoys working in traditional media which includes identity branding and print advertising campaigns.
His talents have seen him working with notable local and international brands, agencies and organizations both in the public and private sector. His resume boasts projects with The Gleaner/RJR Communications Group, National Dance and Theatre Company, National Commercial Bank, Mayberry Jamaica Limited, CGR Communications Hyundai and NESCAFÉ
Working in a human-centric profession has helped Kori develop a deep sense of empathy and over time, it has become the foundation for his design decision-making process.