Fri | Dec 4, 2020

Citi’s DIA Urban Lab hosts mentorship brainstorming session

Published:Monday | August 5, 2019 | 12:11 AM
DIA camp and the  pitch tank  competition participants.
DIA camp and the pitch tank competition participants.

The DIA Urban Lab for Youth Innovation Project recently held an innovation camp and pitch tank competition, where youth from different parishes attended public speaking, branding, canvas, and financial literacy workshops to refine their presentation skills prior to pitching their ideas to a panel of judges.

Of the number of attendees, 20 innovators received seed funding to launch their ventures.

“The DIA camp is a tremendous opportunity for all those innovators who want to take their projects to a next level. I received training, attended the bootcamp, and won at the pitch competition,” said Miguel Francis, DIA participant.

“Many young people think innovation is a sophisticated word and are afraid to explore entrepreneurship, but our job market demands people to think outside the box, network as much as we can, and think how to compete internationally. Having a laser cutter and 3D printer at the Urban Lab makes my life easier,” Francis added.

Launched in 2016 with support from founding donor Citi Foundation and USAID through A New Path Project, DIA Jamaica’s an initiative created by The Trust for the Americas, an affiliate of the Organization of American States, to empower a new generation of young entrepreneurs and innovators, who will act as agents of change in their communities.

Pathway to progress

DIA Jamaica is part of Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress global initiative to prepare young people with the career-readiness tools and opportunities needed to thrive in today’s economy. Pathway to Progress is comprised of programmes, research, and partnerships like the one with Trust of the Americas, which help youth build an entrepreneurial mindset and acquire leadership skills.

In addition, The Trust for the Americas held a brainstorming session last Wednesday to design and launch a mentorship component with members of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ).

“The PSOJ remains firm in the belief that investment in human capital is critical if we’re to realise true sustainable development, and so we are pleased to support the DIA Jamaica and the work they are doing to help develop young entrepreneurs,” said Makeba Bennett, chief executive officer of the PSOJ.