Kirk-Anthony Hamilton - Connecting Jamaica to the world
Kirk-Anthony Hamilton has built a strong reputation for his ability to craft deep partnerships and build communities by connecting wealth, influence and opportunity.
The architectural designer turned entrepreneur and investor is the chief executive officer (CEO) of Infiniti Partnership, a company connecting opportunities to a dynamic network of people, capital and markets.
Hamilton formed Infiniti Partnership out of the love for collaboration and transforming ideas into business solutions. His business interests focus on real estate, hospitality, retail, lifestyle and entertainment, with the aim to let the world know that there are serious business opportunities in Jamaica.
"My family moved to Barbados when I was 12 years old. At a young age, I got exposed to the fact that there is more to us and we are all unique. I saw the dynamics of the different islands and realised that a lot of opportunities that were available outside of the country were either non-existent or limited in Jamaica," Hamilton said.
Following graduation with a master of architecture degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design, he was a member of the pioneering design team behind the Star Island Bahamas Project, proposed as the world's first 100 per cent off-the-grid resort island.
However, he began sharpening his investment skills through his work as co-founder of a private investment firm offering Caribbean high net-worth individuals ownership in existing profitable United States digital media companies.
His interest in investment and business was further solidified during a visit to South Africa while a participant at the One Young World Leadership Summit, where he observed young people in his generation making significant strides as entrepreneurs. He felt the need during this time to acquire as much knowledge and expertise as possible to share with other young people in Jamaica.
"I encountered two groups of people. This is where I met Richard Branson and Arianna Huffington, business luminaries that my generation in Jamaica perhaps have never encountered, and young South African business leaders who were doing very exciting things, especially in entrepreneurship," he said.
"I realised that many of the things I observed were not available to me if I were in Jamaica. Most young people are not at the forefront of industries. I told myself I wanted to be successful and I knew it would not happen in its entirety in Jamaica. We are not attracting business people and in order for us to be successful, we must engage international business enterprises that must interact with our local business communities to form new enterprises and partnerships," Hamilton added.
Hamilton started a quest to build a network with local and international business leaders. With this in mind in 2011, he hosted a 'Global Party' that gave him some level of visibility as a person very focused on global networks. The Global Party was one of 80 parties hosted in 73 different cities around the world in September 2011. The goal was to connect 100,000 wealth builders and influencers to network and raise money for charity.
Out of this concept, and after developing a reputation in Jamaica for having some level of global connectivity, he became the co-founder of the Destination Experience, a social discovery experience, gathering a global network of business leaders and influencers to promote investment, prosperity and philanthropy in the Caribbean.
"Destination Experience is to build a global ecosystem for business within the Caribbean. I want to connect a community of business-minded individuals just like there is in any other major metropolitan city like New York or London. We want to imagine a future where people come to the islands themselves to do business," Hamilton said.
Three-day Destination Experience
The three-day Destination Experience event brings CEOs, investors and entrepreneurs from around the world to meet their Jamaican counterparts and to let them know that Jamaica is increasingly a good place to do business.
"The conference has been a labour of love. What we have built is a global brand and we are looking to expand the concept into the region, and to achieve the same goals we are working to achieve in Jamaica," Hamilton said.
In 2015, Hamilton was recognised by then United States President Barack Obama and the White House as one of 75 emerging global entrepreneurs. He was the only one to be so recognised from the Caribbean.
Hamilton has since taken his message to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, as one of 50 under-30 leaders from the Global Shapers Community and also to the World Bank, and the US Embassy in Jamaica.