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Business leaders urged to 'start up Jamaica'

Published:Saturday | March 28, 2015 | 3:00 AM

The country's business leaders are urged to come forward to mentor young technology entrepreneurs benefiting from the Government's 'Start Up Jamaica' (SUJ) initiative.

The call came from State Minister for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Julian Robinson, who stressed that these "very bright, talented youngsters" have great ideas, but are not necessarily business people, and are in need of legal financial advice.

Robinson was addressing a ceremony held at the SUJ headquarters in downtown Kingston Thursday to announce the successful teams that have been selected to formally develop their businesses under the programme.

"One of the things we want to do is pair them with local executives, local investors, who may also see an opportunity," he said.

SUJ seeks to provide mentorship and other business support to aspiring and new technology entrepreneurs.

Under the initiative, the Government is partnering with accelerator company Oasis500, based in Jordan in the Middle East, which trains and funds start-up tech companies. The company has committed to invest in tech entrepreneurs who are interested in going through the required process for selection.

Oasis500 is providing US$30,000 to each entrepreneur selected. This is a combination of 50 per cent cash, with the remainder representing mentorship, training, and other business support.

Three start-up companies have been selected to participate in the 100-day acceleration process. The members leave the island next week for Jordan.