Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Head Quarters in St. Kitts was the venue for the launch of the OECS Business Solutions Think-Tank and Hackathon on Thursday. In a video conferenced event which launched the Think-Tank across the EC currency union territories, from Anguilla to St. Vincent & The Grenadines, more than 100 participants listened to the opening address from Sir. K. Dwight Venner Governor of the Central Bank.
In his remarks, the Governor encouraged the participants to embrace technology for more than merely consuming entertainment and other people’s “apps”. “We hear all the time of a 17 year old in the UK or where ever, who developed an app or website which is later acquired by a tech giant for millions of dollars. All of you in our secondary schools are capable of doing that, I’m sure of that.”
The Governor also cited that the very nature of this event by using technology to bring together talented individuals to collaborate in teams is also indicative of the opportunities offered by technology. “You don’t have to go anywhere, you can stay in your home countries and complete a project or develop an application right there in your bedroom or living room.”
The participants were then presented with the four business challenges for which they were to develop solutions, these were:
- Market Reach
- Universal View of Customer & Multi-Channel Customer Support
- Supply Chain Management
- Facilities Management
Consultant Telly Onu, made a presentation on software development best practice and gave an overview of some development tools and methods that participants could employ over the 3-day hackathon event.
Tech Entrepreneur and self-taught developer Sharon Simmons the guiding mind behind the I Gotem App and author of the book ‘Get the App Outta Your Head’, took the attendees through her journey and shared insights as to how to develop and “boot strap” an application idea. Her key message was to innovate and seek the right partners, produce a Minimum Viable Product or MVP and then improve on it incrementally, rather than seeking to build an application with all the bells and whistles immediately.
The attendees, formed themselves into teams and will work with a mentor to develop a concept to address their selected business challenge, and present a mock-up or a working app. The OECS Business Solutions Think-Tank and Hackathon will conclude on Saturday 15th August with presentations and judging of the applications.
An IT Professional for more than 20 years and an entrepreneur for more than a decade, Russell Williams has extensive experience as an IT Trainer and facilitator and is happy to answer your questions. E-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @RwilliamsKN, G+ google.com/+RussellWilliamsKN