The Urban Lab will train 200 youth
Urban Labs for Youth Innovation in Jamaica
In 2016, Citi Foundation and the Trust for the Americas, through its DIA program, launched the "Urban Labs for Youth Innovation" project. DIA - Democratizing Innovation in the Americas is a regional initiative that seeks to foster innovation and empower new generations to create low-cost, high impact, innovations that improve livelihood opportunities and solve daily challenges in their communities. This project aims to inspire and provide skills to young Jamaican innovators- between the ages of 16 and 29- through innovation and entrepreneurship training, mentorship and access to technology. In 2020, DIA Jamaica introduced a new component that sought to increase employability and economic opportunities for at-risk youth in the Caribbean through digital literacy, data science and future of work skills.
DIA Jamaica seeks to promote solutions that generate livelihood opportunities and good governance in the region by bringing together academia, civil society, government officials, private sector entities, entrepreneurs and young innovators.
Empower 400 community members through access
Provide $40,000.00 in seedfunding to support disruptive and incremental innovation projects
Young innovators develop their ideas of potential projects
Participants develop their business model throught the ICI accelerator
Participants use tools and technology to materialize projects: make prototypes
Participants pitch their ideas and receive feedback from experts to effectively implement and market their ideas.
Financial and technological resources and mentorships for projects demonstrating the potential to transform communities.
Miguel Francis, 26, is a pioneer in the woodwork business. With no formal training, Miguel’s artistry is self-taught and his abilities include cabinet making, furniture making, joinery, carpentry and engraving. Before attending DIA, Miguel created most of his products by hand. Since becoming a lab participant Miguel has been a frequent user of his favorite equipment, the laser cutter. In realizing the possibility of turning his talent into a viable business, Miguel immersed himself into DIA’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Methodology, which led to him participate in the 2018 Pitch Tank Competition with the business idea “I Want To Make JA”. Through guidance from the Lab Team and his own aptitude and determination to excel, Miguel was successful in his bid to become a DIA Jamaica Pitch Tank Winner. Miguel integrated woodwork and technology by using Arduinos to create Wireless Bluetooth Speakers. Miguel has already outlined the usage of his grant funds and has developed his new business operation plan.