Creative Hack JA Fosters Innovation. And there are winners!

Kingston Creative’s Creative Hack JA ended on a high last week, with ten teams from the creative and tech sectors vying for a total J$1 million in funding. Many congratulations to all who participated – and especially to Emme Christie and Crowd Data Ja! Kudos to the entire Kingston Creative team, led by Karen Hutchinson.

[Kingston, Jamaica, January 2022]  Creative Hack JA, a two-day hackathon event sponsored by Kingston Creative, IDB Lab and the Development Bank of Jamaica, united creatives, tech enthusiasts and problem solvers to brainstorm innovative solutions for societal problems aligned to achievement of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals.

The event, which took place on January 21-22 was hosted by social impact marketer Joel Nomdarkham and Kingston Creative’s Entrepreneur Development Specialist, Dmitri Dawkins.  It saw 52 hackers and 8 facilitators participate in a rigorous series of workshops on ideation, planning, budgeting and pitching in order to fine-tune their innovative ideas and secure over $1 million in seed funding.

Dmitri Dawkins is Kingston Creative’s Entrepreneur Development Specialist.

The entries were whittled down to 10 teams that pitched to a panel of judges including Ruth Chisholm, Country Programme Director at FHI360, Lastarda Lee, Chief Technology Officer at It’s Pixel Perfect, Doris Gross, Director Kingston Creative and Portico Architects, Ewan Simpson, Chairman of the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JARIA) and General Counsel at The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) and Abishai Hoilett, Record Label Executive at Bebble Rock Music & Ghetto Youths International. 

Ruth Chisholm, one of the judges, is Country Programme Director at FHI360.

After evaluating the pitches which targeted the issues of education, waste disposal, environment, gender-based violence and crime, the teams ‘Crowd Data Ja’, ‘Crypto Creative Collective’ and ‘CAL-Q-Kids’ won first, second and third place respectively. The teams won seed funding of $600,000 JMD, $300,000 JMD & $150,000 JMD and will be paired with development organisations to support implementation of their concepts.

“It was very heartwarming and inspiring to see people from the creative sector and the tech sector work together to create so many innovative ideas! The energy and creativity that went collectively tackling our country’s problems is inspiring. We are already seeing how contagious that energy is and will be working towards connecting the hackers with the additional mentorship they need to implement their ideas,” said Karen Hutchinson, Creative Hack Project Manager. “ We are really pleased that we were able to facilitate such innovation and look forward to doing it again later this year.”

Karen Hutchinson is Creative Hack Project Manager at Kingston Creative.

All the proposals of the top ten finalists in the Creative Hack are available for public viewing at: https://kingstoncreative.org/creative-hack-2022/.

The Creative Hack is one of several initiatives under the Kingston Creative CREATECH programme, a partnership with IDB Lab designed to provide opportunities for creative entrepreneurs. To learn more about CREATECH visit: https://kingstoncreative.org/createch/

Kingston Creative is investing in “People and Place” – developing strong creative entrepreneurs and building a vibrant Art District in Downtown Kingston.

Emmie Christie from the winning Crowd Data Ja team.

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