Next Gen Creators described themselves as the new kids on the block helping to inspire youth to explore the world of entrepreneurship through technology (http://nextgencreators.com/). The team of young Jamaican tech entrepreneurs who promote coding and entrepreneurship staged their annual Coders of the Caribbean hackathon in Kingston, Jamaica on July 15-17th at the Startup Jamaica Hub.
At the event techies dedicated 36 hours to building a mobile, web or hardware application; pitch to a panel of Judges ; and at the end of the day interact with visionaries , mentors and build a community among themselves. This gave Caribbean millennials the opportunity to bring their best ideas and work on them intensely in teams, having fun competing for prizes. “The beauty of technology is that it is limitless, all one needs is an idea and the know how, that said the Tech sector is awash with opportunities and we want Jamaican youth to be able to cash in on those possibilities”, said Nicholas Kee, co-founder of Next Gen Creators.
After the 42 hours the winners emerged as a two-man team of Shervaun Barrett and Kode Williams, known as Team Koopan, are the 2016 Coders of the Caribbean.The two were selected as the best producers of a web application that will help to assist in solving problems in seven fields of agriculture, finance, education tourism and energy.
Team Koopan emerged on top for creating an app that would see businesses increasing their profits by creating online coupons for their customers.
Barrett is a student of the University of Technology (UTECH), while Williams just recently graduated from Campion College.
Second place was awarded to the four man team of El Chapos for creating an app that will assist tourism interests to allow visitors easier access to medical marijuana, while the all-female team Gen 90 was awarded third place for their app which will assist farmers to get their produce from the farm gate to hotels, supermarkets and other entities that use their produce.
The winners collected $200,000 for their efforts.
Team Koopan also won the NCB prize of $20,000 for finance.
The Coders of the Caribbean event saw some 80 youth between the ages of 15 and 25 being placed in groups of up to four over a period of 42 hours, which begun on Friday last and ended on Sunday.
All the youth were housed in the offices of Start Up Jamaica at Duke Street in Kingston.
Ja’dan Johnson of Nex Gen Creators, coordinates the programme and told Loop News that this is the second year the Coders of the Caribbean project is running. He said the participants come from diverse backgrounds.
“They don’t leave. We provide them with everything. They work for long hours and sleep when they feel like. We train them and make sure when they leave here they are better persons in the field of IT (information Technology). Some of them came here as amateurs and they will leave with better knowledge of the IT field” he said.