by Ingrid Riley
Kingston BETA is the first and longest running tech startup community series in Jamaica and the Caribbean that brings together aspiring and current Jamaican/Caribbean entrepreneurs, developers, designers,tech professionals, tech enthusiasts, digital professionals, college students, academics, corporations and investors – To Learn. Be Inspired. To Network.
Kingston BETA kickstarted the Tech Startup Community and Scene in Jamaica in February 2007. We even got two awards in recognition of this!
The event has a BETA Pitch segment – that’s a platform for entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas that are tech driven or tech related. We’ve had over 60 events, 6,000 attendees and over 250 startups pitch their big ideas since it was launched in 2007.
A better informed, connected and recognised Jamaican and Caribbean tech startup community is emerging.
Kingston BETA is staged by ConnectiMass!
So here we go, so what are Top 5 ways to make the most of a Kingston Beta event and community ?
1. Just show up in person and online. Each event typically attracts between 80-190 people depending on the guest speaker, panel discussion and number of idea pitches. So come in person if you live in Jamaica or are here on business.
If not, we live tweet every event for the Caribbean Tech Community and the rest of the world using the twitter name @kingstonbeta and the hashtag #kgnbeta.Also follow @siliconcaribe on Periscope.
So join in the conversation online if you cannot do so in person. Plus people attending are usually tweeting too, so you will feel like you are right there in the middle of the action if you are not in Jamaica. There is nothing like being a part of a community of like minded people.
So whether you are an aspiring or existing tech entrepreneur, developer, designer, marketing or business graduate, or tech enthusiast…join us in person and online. You will always leave an event having learned something new and connected with someone you’ve always wanted to. You may meet a potential co-founder, investor, mentor. Kingston BETA is rich with the right connections.
2. Network: At the registration desk, you will get a name tag. Write your name or twitter ID on it, but please wear the tag and a smile. The networking is pretty awesome at Kingston Beta- it is the place to meet then match the faces behind the Caribbean dotcom places. You will always be surprised about meeting the entrepreneur or developer behind a particular website, company or app. So read people’s name tags and just say hi, they are expecting you to.
3. Be Inspired: So you don’t have a tech idea as yet, or you’re toying with a few but unsure about which way to go. That’s cool. Just being at the event, meeting new people, listening to the speakers and idea pitches will inspire you to think harder, do more homework and help you generate even better ideas. Let me tell you, when a bunch of smart, passionate, curious people are in a single room, I tell you, magic happens!
4. Pitch Your Idea: At our Kingston BETA events, we’ve created a safe and non-judgmental community space for everyone from the college student, young professional, aspiring entrepreneur to the seasoned and successful ones.
We encourage you to share your ideas, your product prototype or launched startup product on stage in the BETA Pitch section of the event. Over the 60 events we’ve done so far, over 250 entrepreneurs have pitched their ideas to over 6,000 attendees. And we’re just getting started. The one thing that will happen when you pitch – you will get great feedback from an audience like no other and it will help you to ditch or finesse your idea. You will be better for the experience.
5. Stay Connected to the Community. Currently we have four Kingston BETA events planned for 2013, so what are you going to do in between those events? Stay connected to the community….and where else…online. Join the BETA Newsletter which is a monthly email newsletter that keeps you on the pulse of the people and events that are making things happen in the Caribbean Tech Startup Scene.
This includes Kingston BETA, Startup Weekend Jamaica events, BETA Bootcamps, Tech Conferences, Competitions, Deals and more. Join the Facebook community, Follow us on Twitter . Read our award-winning Caribbean Tech Blog SiliconCaribe.com which covers the Caribbean Tech Startup Scene and is the most widely read Caribbean Tech Blog online.
Join the various groups that are part of the wider Tech Community as well as StartupCaribe Slashroots Foundation, Jamaica Software Developers Association, Jamaica Design Association, Cayman Software Developers, App developer community in Barbados.
And when you are there, share what you read, what you are doing and what you know. The knowledge exchange change of the online community is priceless.
See you there!
Ingrid Riley – Founder + Host