KICK-STARTING Caribbean tech startups is the primary goal of Ingrid Riley's company, ConnectiMass. Founded in 2007 as a digital marketing agency that held tech events, the company evolved into a social venture that provides marketing, media, training, events and business development to current and aspiring tech entrepreneurs who want to launch successful technology-based products, start-ups and initiatives. and Riley has never regretted the change.
Kingston BETA and Caribbean BETA. The former is a bimonthly meet-up/networking event and Caribbean BETAis a tech entrepreneurship conference. Through these events, Riley enables tech start-ups to have opportunities that were not available to them just a few years ago. "The right info in front of the right people can make amazing things happen. They see opportunities they can create for themselves," she said.
Media and technology were always a part of the life of this self-proclaimed 'information junkie'. Riley had an early introduction to the wonders of the Internet, working at the Jamaica Observer when it was first introduced, along with brand new Apple computers, to the staff. This, coupled with the fact that her sister and brother-in-law, whose company, Jamaica Online, was one of the first to provide Internet services locally, provided the foundation for what was to be a lifelong love affair with technology and information.
The University of Technology, Jamaica alumnus has a can-do attitude towards everything. Riley loves what she does and is always game to step into a situation and offer assistance. "When I fell in love with information and technology, I just wanted to do a lot. I tried a couple things, failed at a couple things and then succeeded. It's a great time to be creative and test your ideas and to fail and learn from your failures and try again," she said.
"It's great, really great to be recognised. It always is, and especially about work that you're passionate about and have an unshakeable belief in," said Riley of being chosen as one of the 50UnderFifty business leaders in Jamaica.