Canadian Startup Guru to Mentor J’can Entrepreneurs with World Bank Support

Veteran start-up mentor and co-founder of the number-one ranked university incubator in North America, Valerie Fox, will arrive in Jamaica to mentor local entrepreneurs in a workshop aimed at fostering growth in Jamaican entrepreneurship and innovation.

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Valerie Fox, Chief Innovation Consultant, The Pivotal Point

The Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Development Workshop is facilitated by the World Bank Group’s infoDev through the Accelerate Caribbean project. Accelerate Caribbean is one part of the Canadian funded Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC), where stakeholders in 13 CARICOM countries are being engaged in an effort to build up the entrepreneurship ecosystems across the region.

Ms Sophia Muradyan, Coordinator for EPIC, said,

 “We are very excited to have Valerie lead our workshop. She has mentored over 200 startups and has more than 30 years of leadership in facilitating innovation throughout Canada and the world.”

Fox is a co-founder of The DMZ, formerly the Digital Media Zone, at Ryerson University in Ontario, Canada. The tech incubator has attracted and fostered the growth of 190 companies and has also enabled the development of Zone Startups India, an international startup accelerator located in the iconic Bombay Stock Exchange tower.

Natalia Pipia, team leader of Accelerate Caribbean, in discussing the goal of the workshop said

“In some ways Jamaica’s current entrepreneurship ecosystem is more developed than others in the region but it could still benefit from greater leadership and structure. With this workshop, we are hoping to do a mapping of the ecosystem to figure out where the gaps are, and then make an actual plan to address them.”

The workshop will begin on Wednesday, June 22, at the Spanish Court Hotel at 8:30 a.m. and will bring together entrepreneurs, investors, business incubator managers, academics and government officials to focus on the challenges and opportunities in Jamaica’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.

It will be followed by a Business Incubation Management training programme at StartUp Jamaica in downtown Kingston on Thursday, June 23, and Friday, June 24. The two-day training will instruct in the areas of ‘Deals and Financing for Incubator Clients’ and ‘Implementing a Mentoring Programme’. 

Persons interested in attending the workshop or training may visit acceleratecaribbean.com for details and to register.

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