Diaspora group donates $5 million to Caribbean Maritime University

Diaspora group donates $5 million to Caribbean Maritime University

Jamaica Information Service – The Jamaica Diaspora Investment Group has provided $5 million for the establishment of a technology entrepreneurship laboratory at the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU).

The investment will help to get the lab operational and hire engineers to produce its first web-based platform, dubbed ‘Project Pakasa’, work on which is slated to begin next week and to be completed in three months.

Managing Partner for the Jamaica Diaspora Investment Group, Kimone Gooden, told Jamaica Information Service that the objective is for the lab to serve as an incubator for technology projects.

“It’s an opportunity for diaspora technology entrepreneurs to come back to Jamaica and leverage Jamaica as a software engineering hub for their technology projects versus India or other countries in Asia,” she noted.

Miss Gooden is also a member of the Diaspora Technology Task Force, which aims to facilitate diaspora-owned companies and to encourage small businesses to leverage Jamaica for their virtual resource pool.

CMU President, Professor Fritz Pinnock, for his part, welcomes the investment from the diaspora group.

“I want to thank them for their vision for the CMU, as this investment will help add to our existing cutting-edge technology,” Professor Pinnock said.

He acknowledged the “many great” contributions that the Jamaican diaspora is making to Jamaica.

Executive Director at the Centre for Digital Innovation at CMU Erica Simmons (second left), accepts a cheque for $5 million from partners in the Jamaica Diaspora Investment Group – Kimone Gooden (second right) and Leo Gilling (right). The presentation was made at the university’s campus in Kingston recently. Looking on is President of the CMU, Dr Fritz Pinnock.

The Jamaica Diaspora Investment Group, which was formed in 2017, aims to invest collectively in projects in Jamaica.

The group, which includes senior partners, Balfour Peart, who is a CMU past student, and Leo Gilling, is already looking at other projects, one of which is undergoing a feasibility review and is slated to begin by the end of the year.

“Our goal is to just build a portfolio of commercially viable projects in Jamaica and to generate actual returns for the investors,” Mr. Gilling said.

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