Growth & Jobs | Technology-savvy entrepreneurs wanted | News

THE BAHAMAS-BASED Kanoo Innovation Hub is looking for local entrepreneurs, who will receive technical support and training to develop and grow technology-based businesses.

The hub is an innovation accelerator designed in conjunction with Draper University, a leading authority on acceleration programs in Silicon Valley, United States.

Kanoo accelerates start-ups by providing participants with the tools, strategies, and funding to identify problems and develop innovative solutions.

Speaking recently on the Jamaica Information Service’s (JIS) online discussion program, ‘Studio 58A’, co-founder of the hub, Davina Bain, said successful applicants will be trained over a period of weeks to- convert their ideas into what he calls ‘minimum viable. products’.

The deadline for submissions is November 15, and applicants using the sign-up code – ‘Studio 58A’ – will be prioritized in the selection process. Those interested can visit for application requirements.

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“We built a bridge directly to Silicon Valley with Draper University to tap into their network of venture capitalists. It’s also a way for entrepreneurs across the Caribbean to connect and share ideas in an ecosystem, to ensure that businesses can grow within the region before expanding globally,” said Bain.

He added that the organization is committed to supporting entrepreneurs with innovative ideas that use technology to solve problems or develop solutions that can be used in the region.

“We have three levels in this progressive programming. You have the initial cohort, that’s for two weeks. In February, we [will] have two levels, which is a pre-accelerator; that will happen in four weeks. The top 30 people out of the program matriculate there, and then the top 10 people move on to an immersion program in Silicon Valley,” Bain further explained.

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Head of partnerships and business development at Draper University, Khadija Ghazi, whose training sessions are conducted by other entrepreneurs who have built businesses in the technology industry.

“We only bring in entrepreneurs, people who build, people who pivot, people who fail, and people who raise funds who deliver content. We also have Discord groups, where discussions take place, and to be surrounded you also have other entrepreneurs sharing ideas about what they’re doing,” says Ghazi.

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He added that once the training is over, the entrepreneurs will also be part of a wider ecosystem to receive mentorship and other forms of support.

“The one I appreciate the most [is], it doesn’t ‘chop’ after two weeks. You will be part of the largest entrepreneurial ecosystem in the world. Did you learn something that you haven’t been able to apply? Come back for advisory, mentorship or funding [support, and] you will continue to be part of this ecosystem,” Ghazi explained.



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