While reading the Jamaica Gleaner Financial Section today. I saw an ad for the Development Bank of Jamaica Venture Capital Conference to be held on September 9, 2013.
I could not believe my eyes when I saw the list of speakers primary the local ones.
For starters none of these local speakers in my opinion is worth $1 (JMD) for me to attend such an event and hear them speak regarding Venture Capital (VC) for and in Jamaica. Neither am I impressed with the list of International speakers slated for this event in the ad I saw.
The second thing I noticed is how did some of these characters get selected to speak at such an event with, no real track record in the VC sector, or having any previous experience in VC events?
Obtaining investment in a project that is pumped and hyped with no real chance of returns, or value does not qualify one as a expert speaker in a VC conference.
But hey this is Jamaica and the standards, well lack of standards, attribute to many a moonlighters parading as experts and tech entrepreneurs.
WHY CHARGE SO MUCH MONEY IN TOUGH ECONOMIC TIMES
I also noticed that they were charging $8,000 for students with ID. Now that is US$80 for a high school, university or junior college student.
How is that wise? Is this even just and fair to charge so much for students?
WILL THE VC FUNDS EXPECTED, GO TO THOSE WHO NEED IT MOST?
Frankly I think most Jamaicans do not know what Venture Capital (VC) is except their backward views of it being free money.
This new VC fund will not change the mistakes made in the 1970s when VC money first appeared in Jamaica and disappeared with nothing to show for it.
For in my opinion the white collar fraudsters and connected, will make sure to find creative ways to eat away legally at such funds. Expect established companies seeking cheap finance to stay afloat by securing backing for such VC funds especially in manufacturing and export sector.
Expect third rate start ups, with first rate business plans all hyped up by their pimps to secure funding and even go IPO on the Junior Stock Market.
The fund in my opinion will be no more than a slush fund for the connected. They are like hungry slimy pigs feeding away at the trough, filling their empty guts.
Jamaica lacks real and true talent in abundance. Jamaica business sector and entrepreneur tech sector in my opinion are nothing more than a set of skilled profilers pretending to be innovators, game changers, and moguls in the making.
As such types, and a lack of standards will only hurt the sector.
When the hype is over, and the dust is settled, and the pigs tummies are filled. What next?
Jamaica 1st Venture Capital Conference was held in 2009 at JAMPRO.
Mainly designed to beam via Broadband Internet live presentations to US VCs and VC connected industry experts to see some of Jamaica’s top talent.
Local investment bankers, MNCs with exception of sponsors token support. All did not see why such an event was necessary for Jamaica in 2009.
You may see the event web page here
Fortunately today 2013 for Jamaica, someone at the DBJ with some amount of IQ seeing the hard times the Jamaican economy is going through, sought to do something productive.