The goal of this site is provide a simple guide to help those in Jamaica interested to start a technology based business aka Startup. Many times, there are lots of negative talk about the lack of opportunities in emerging economies and youth unemployment is very high. This may sound insensitive but there are lots of opportunities in Jamaica and other emerging countries to start new businesses that solves problems around improving the quality of life and reducing cost of doing just about anything. Lets break down the opportunities into technology transfer and product development.
Whenever a country is labeled emerging or developing, it means that there are technologies in Develop Countries that could be useful in these countries. This could span from Transportation, Housing to Information Technology and many others. The key to transferring this technology is to understand how it could be modified to fit the use in terms of cost and actual applications. The bottom line is that there are many opportunities in this space and the simple approach is to observe, reach out to the suppliers of those technologies and work something out.
The other key point on this is that developing countries does not have to follow the same stages as Developed countries went through. They can now benefit from the new technologies today and actually catch up with the developed world in a few steps.
The key to technology transfer here is not about buying and selling products but to find the right technology, work to customize it for the local market then offer a reasonable solution.
The other exciting option is to actually develop products locally that would fit the needs of those consumers and businesses. For the sake of simplicity, we will break this into the two buckets of physical products and Software.
Physical Products - This could vary from Electronics devices to large power plants. The challenge with developing a physical product is to find the right resources locally to help in the process and some times this require more funding upfront unlike software projects or services. One approach here is to find a manufacturer in the US or China to help develop the concept based on your blueprints - Alibaba.com is good place to start looking.
This is a big area of opportunity in developing countries as there are needs to solve energy problems, housing and many other physical issues.
Software Products - In terms of requirements, software would seem to be the easiest business model for developing a new product. There are two basic model for software, (1) develop standalone applications that each customer could install on their own phone or computer systems or (2) the other model is the cloud based Software as a service (SaaS). In the SaaS model, the business continues to own the software but offers its use on a subscription basis which can be quiet lucrative long term.
The key challenge to developing a software product is to find the right expertise at the right price to get things moving. Several online sites provides very good means to find developers - These are upwork.com or freelancer.com. Otherwise, checking with the local universities could yield some very competent developers as well.
Important Tip: Whenever product development comes to mind, the key thing to consider would be intellectual properties (IP) in the form of patents or other forms of protection. Its important to appropriately protect ideas from those that want to piggyback off hard work.
The goal here is to provide simple references on how to start a technology business in Jamaica or any emerging country. Check out the blog as well as the resources section on training and books. These will provide a good foundation to move forward.
Our goal here is to help so please ask questions as appropriate