This week, 60 young entrepreneurs from across the Caribbean will take part in an intensive five-day workshop on the reality of being an entrepreneur, put on by the San Francisco start-up investment fund.
But with thousands of inspiring start-ups cramming the steep streets of San Francisco, why are they so interested in investing in Jamaican youth?
We asked DevLabs CEO, Rubén Hernández, to outline his reasons for boosting the hopes and dreams of these young start-ups and what attracted him specifically to the Caribbean.
"We have a group of Jamaican entrepreneurs already here in Oakland and they're not only building and expanding their business in the US, but they are also becoming an inspiration for many young people here," he explained. "It's really, really exciting because it's a two-way street."
Jamaica is a gateway to Latin America
Situated at the heart of the English-speaking Caribbean, the port of Kingston is equidistant from the port of Miami and the Panama Canal. As a result, Jamaica is an attractive proposition for those looking to bridge the lucrative markets of the North and the powerful emerging markets of the South.
Add to that mix a shared language with the world's technological powerhouses along with a workable time difference with the US west coast, and the picture is complete. The digital industry holds great employment potential for the country's talented and digitally fluent youth.
In numbers, it's estimated that up to 5,000 jobs could be created in the Caribbean by turning the region into an animation hub, and more than 4,000 youths are already e-lancing with digital enterprises in Jamaica, following the Digital Jam initiative.
"Digital technology is critical for us," affirms Julian Robinson, Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining. "We have traditionally been very dependent on physical products, but we believe there is going to be a quantum shift to maximising our intellectual assets. We view the digital economy as a way to harness the creativity that exists in the country," he added.