Inspiring Story of How One New College Grad Made $66,000 In One Month

After his junior year at Brigham Young University, Nick Walter, now 25, landed a great summer internship in the Seattle office of Pariveda Solutions, a Dallas-based tech consulting firm. Though he enjoyed the work and liked his clients and colleagues, he felt stifled. Used to jeans and t-shirts, he didn’t like wearing khakis and polo shirts and most of all, he says, “I hated that I had to be at this office every day for X amount of time doing what they said I had to do.”

So instead of heading down the career track he’d always expected of himself—he’d envisioned the security of a steady paycheck and benefits—he decided to go to BYU part-time for the next two years, while hiring himself out as a consultant and developing his own apps for the iPhone including seven how-two apps he wrote with a friend. One of them, called simply Weight Lifting Videos, has helped net $1,200 a month.Then he stumbled on a more lucrative possibility. Read more

SOURCE: Forbes

Medical ganja company targets $4b in revenue by 2019

LOCAL medical marijuana company, Medicanja Limited, expects to generate approximately $4 billion in sales within four years.

“Revenue from the sales and services of over 18 products that we have planned from Medicanja limited, including six product lines, will be in excess of $4 billion,” said the executive chairman of Medicanja Limited, Dr Henry Lowe.

What’s more, during the first quarter of next year, Medicanja plans to launch an initial public offering (IPO) to raise funds from the market to continue product development and research.

“This will give Jamaicans at home and in the Diaspora a chance to invest” in a product that shares a strong brand association with the country, he said. Continue

SOURCE: Jamaica Observer

What it Takes to Navigate the Marijuana Industry

Colorado’s first cannabis business summit focused on helping companies learn how to run better and comply with the nascent industry’s many regulations.

The recreational marijuana business is in full bloom in Colorado. In just the first three months since marijuana was legalized, the state has raised $25 million from businesses for taxes, licenses, and fees, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue.

Looking forward, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper predicts combined sales from recreational and medical cannabis (which has been legal for 14 years) will reach $1 billion by 2015, with $134 million going to the state. These numbers make clear that the nascent industry is not some Cheech and Chong joke; it’s a serious business with well-defined rules and laws.

To help startups and small businesses navigate regulatory issues, cannabis industry tech firm Surna held the first Colorado Cannabis Summit on Thursday in Denver, featuring panels on state and federal laws, taxes and banking, branding, and employee training and safety.

Meg Collins, the executive director of Colorado-based trade group Cannabis Business Alliance, says about 500 companies have launched around the recreational marijuana industry since the law changed in January, including growers, dispensaries, and tech firms providing seed-to-sale tracking software. Continue


Greater Demand for Cassava?

LOCAL brewing company Red Stripe will be establishing its US$800,000 ($90.4 million) starch processing plant by January 2015.

The facility will allow Red Stripe to make its flagship beer with at least five per cent cassava by next March.

Ultimately, the local brewer wants to replace 20 per cent of its imported barley with locally grown cassava.

The company has secured a lease contract for 250 acres of land at Wallen, St Catherine, that will bring its total farmland under production to 286 acres.

Around 2,500 acres are needed to meet its target. Read more

SOURCE: Jamaica Observer

Jamaica Has a Startup Scene Worth Watching

When contemplating top tech and startup ecosystems in Latin America and the Caribbean, Jamaica isn’t exactly the first locale that comes to mind.

Listed 94th on the World Economic Forum’s 2013-2014 Global Competitiveness Index, the country gets low marks in macroeconomic development (ranked 141 out of 148), quality of math and science education (115), and venture capital ability (130). However, it’s got a number of things going for it as well – such as number of days to start a business (listed at 25), availability of latest technologies (42), quality of scientific research institutions (48), and nature of competitive advantage (46).

Jamaica’s economy is certainly making strides, and while some factors are still lacking, other indicators demonstrate advances. This is good news for entrepreneurs, startups, investors and other members of the country’s tech community indeed. Continue

Green Village To Go On The Market Next Year

A new set of energy-efficient homes are under development in Greendale, St Catherine, and may hit the market next year.

Called Green Village, the complex is billed as the “first green residential community” with rainwater harvesting for landscape irrigation of common areas and home lots as well as a bio-digester treatment plant.

Paul Soegaard, a technical director for the project – the developers are Green Village Country Club Development Limited – declined to speak about the project, saying it is to be formally launched early next year.

However, the project website indicates that Green Village will feature 116 mixed-housing units, street lights powered by renewable sources, with solar water heaters and swimming pools. The toilets are low flush and the shower heads and faucets are low flow, the company notes on its website. Continue



Green Village Jamaica

Green Village Housing Development 

Ministry Looking to Create more Agro Parks in Western Jamaica

THE Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is looking to establish additional agro parks in western Jamaica.

The ministry initially has its eye on identifying 115 hectares of suitable lands in the parishes of Westmoreland, St James and Hanove.

Rural St James in particular, is being targeted for the cultivation of banana for the export trade.

While a definite location for the construction of an agro park is yet to be finalised, the Seven Rivers property in St James is being examined closely as it has an irrigation system in place, said Donovan Stanberry, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture. Read more

Online Course: “Innovation for Entrepreneurs: From Idea to Marketplace” (Starts Oct 27)

About the Course

stick-man200We establish a framework for examining the innovation process, and quickly transition into exploring how to successfully bring innovations to market. Key questions answered within the course include:
  • What are the key indicators of innovation opportunities?
  • What steps are critical for entrepreneurs to bring innovations to the marketplace?
  • What innovation strategies are valuable for new ventures to establish and maintain a competitive advantage?
With this course, students experience a sampling of the ideas and techniques explored in the University of Maryland’s Online Master of Technology Entrepreneurship.

Course Syllabus

Week One: The Innovation Landscape
  • Defining Innovation for Business Strategy
  • Creative Destruction as Innovation’s Outcome
  • Innovation’s Value Proposition for Entrepreneurs
  • New Models of Innovation for Entrepreneurs
  • How Innovations Diffuse into the Commercial Marketplace
Week Two: Indicators of Innovation Opportunity
  • How the Life Span of an Innovation Follows Product Life Cycles
  • How Technology “S” Curves Reveal Innovation Opportunity
  • Understanding How Innovations Disrupt the Marketplace
  • How Lead Users Foster Innovation
  • Where Innovation is Hiding in the Value Chain
  • How to Recognize a Winning Innovation Idea
Week Three: Steps in the Process of Innovation 
  • Three Framed Views of the Innovation Process
  • How Individual Steps Form the Overall Innovation Process
  • An Innovation Process Applied: New Product Development
  • Technology’s Role in Phases of Industrial Innovation
  • Innovation Roles and Role Players
  • How Creator and Implementer Innovation Roles Differ

Week Four: Innovation Strategies for Competitive Advantage

  • How Strategic Alliances Enable Open Innovation
  • How a Blue Ocean Strategy Leads to New Market Niches
  • How to Cross the Adoption Chasm and Get an Innovation to Market
  • How Benchmarking Can Be an Innovation Strategy
  • How Technology Influences an Innovation Strategy
  • How Internal R&D Becomes an Innovation Source
  • How to Compose the Elements of an Innovation Portfolio
  • How Technology Transfer Fits into an Innovation Portfolio


Review of Jamaica’s Economic Performance April – June 2014

The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) published an economic performance report dated August 20, 2014. The report coves the economic performance for the quarter April to June 2014. This report covers sectors of the Jamaican economy such as tourism, agriculture, forestry & fishing, manufacture and construction.

Here are some of what you will find in the report:

Wholesale & Retail Trade

Higher sales were recorded for:

  •  Wholesale & Repair of Household Goods, up 11.8%
  •  Agriculture, Food, Beverages & Tobacco, up 5.7%
  •  Textiles, Clothing, Shoes & Jewellery, up 2.7%
  •  Electronic & Internet Retail, up 7.4%


  • Real Value Added for Hotels & Restaurants increased by 2.7%
  •  Total Visitor Arrivals, up 10.0%
  • Stopover Arrivals, up 3.1%
  • Cruise Passenger Arrivals, up 24.7%
  • Visitor Expenditure, up 5.7% to US$541.1 million


Real Value Added in the Agriculture industry grew by 12.5% based on PIOJ’s production index:

  • Traditional Export crops, up 92.1%
  • Other Agricultural Crops up 5.5%
  • Animal Farming up 0.9%

It is also worth noting that:

For January–June 2014 the inflation rate was 2.4%

Revenue & Grants totalled $89.7 billion in April–June 2014, while Expenditure totalled $103.9 billion.

Crude bauxite production (up 13.3%) was impacted by higher global demand resulting in an increase of 11.8 % points in the Bauxite Capacity Utilization rate.

The average nominal exchange rate at the end of June 2014 was $112.2 per US$1.00.

The unemployment rate for April 2014 was 13.6 % compared with a rate of 16.3 % in April 2013.

SOURCE: Planning Institute of Jamaica

Top Honours for Copperwood Farms at National Quality Awards

COPPERWOOD Farms in Hanover walked away with three awards at the recently concluded National Quality Awards organised by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ).

In conjunction with the celebration of international World Standards Day, the award seeks to recognise excellence in local companies who pay special attention to quality in their production processes and adhere to international standards such as those set by International Standard Organisation (ISO).

The Lucea-based processing plant won top sectional awards and the overall prize in the small/medium enterprises category which include: Sectional award in Small/Medium Enterprises for Excellence in Customer Focus; sectional award in small/medium enterprises category for Excellence in Human Resource Focus and Overall National Quality Award for Excellence in the Small Business Sector. Continue

SOURCE: Jamaica Observer