Jamaica's first Venture Capital Conference is to be a game-changing event, to set the framework for "getting it right this time" says Milverton Reynolds, managing director of the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ).
Speaking at the media briefing at the DBJ on Wednesday, August 15, to launch the one-day conference, Reynolds pointed out that the bank is being deliberate and systematic in its efforts to avoid the pitfalls and obstacles experienced previously when Jamaica tried to introduce a venture capital market.
The conference, to be held on Monday, September 9 at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, is an opportunity for all stakeholders, from entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, fund managers, government officials and policy makers, private-sector policymakers to professionals.
"The current programme is more inclusive, with all stakeholders being at the discussion table from early in the planning stages. We want to ensure that this time around, we get it right", he said.
"The DBJ is seized with the need to link into the work of others and the best practices of other economies. We are not re-inventing the wheel, but we will look at what other countries have done right, adapt or tweak it to suit our society here in Jamaica," Reynolds said.
The conference will have as keynote speaker, Paul Ahlstrom, CEO, Alta Ventures, Mexico and author of Nail it and Scale it. Other speakers include: Susana Garcia-Robles, principal investment specialist, Early Stage Financing Group, Washington D.C.; Cate Ambrose of the Latin American Venture Capital Association, and local speaker, Audrey Richards, DBJ project consultant.
Plenaries will cover topics such as: "Clearing the barriers for passionate entrepreneurs to grow innovative companies"; "A new approach to venture capital based on lessons learnt from the evolving Latin America and Caribbean Venture Capital markets"; "What deals are taking place in the Jamaican market", and "A New Approach to Venture Capital in Jamaica - Launch of the Jamaican Venture Capital Programme."