Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Tech Times | Finding the right app-titude: The Rory Burchenson story

Published:Monday | March 6, 2017 | 3:00 AM
Rory Burchenson

 

Rory Burchenson is the innovations and digital marketing manager at Red Stripe and doubles, in his spare time, as an app developer for some of the island's most noted organisations. He is also 34 years old.

"The key is being determined. A million people can have great ideas, but they don't execute them." According to Burchenson, "In this world that we're living in, you don't really need the skills. All you need is to have a very good idea, and it is putting that idea into action that really is the major part."

After pursuing a major in psychology at the University of the West Indies, the Wolmer's Boys' alumnus says his first job was as a call centre agent, but his real passion has always been for technology. "As far as I can remember, I've always had a hint of entrepreneurship in my blood, but technology has always driven me."

He says his big break in the tech industry happened by chance during a night out with friends. At the time, he was a project manager at Digicel, a position he held for six years, where he, among other things, successfully managed the launch of the company's 4G Wimax broadband network." We went out one night to Cuddy'z and we could not find anywhere to go. We were supremely bored, and we decided that we needed to fix it, so we started the app called TUMP! that had all the interesting places in Jamaica."

 

PRIZES WON

 

The app enabled users to browse and connect to events and businesses in their circle but has since been discontinued by the developers. "We won innovator prizes, one from GIS (geo-informatic systems) and we did a Pitch competition, where we came in second. It was great while it lasted, but I'm moving into other things now."

Among those 'other things' is his post as innovations and digital marketing manager at Red Stripe, where, since 2011, he has led the strategic development and introduction of over 30 products to the Jamaican market. "As the innovation manager, I lead the team that does all of these new product developments. It's a cross-functional team - we come together weekly and discuss what the future holds, and come up with the concepts and bring them through to launch.

"I need to play it forward now. There are a lot of young persons who I think I can impart a lot of knowledge to. There are things that you will learn as you go along in life and I want to help persons and guide them along that path ... just to give advice and say, 'I think you should do this instead.'"

Rory hinted to Tech Times that "there is something coming very soon that I think will be very applicable to university students. It's going to involve housing and (students) finding houses, especially after semesters, which I think is the most challenging thing. So look out for it."

- Mickella Anderson