Exposing young talent

Lybron Sobers (left) of Foo Cafe Barbados and Shannon Clarke of Polyevolution, display some of the gadgets that they can provide the software for.
Lybron Sobers (left) of Foo Cafe Barbados and Shannon Clarke of Polyevolution, display some of the gadgets that they can provide the software for.

Barbados has trained persons capable of producing world class software for modern communications instruments like iPhones, iPads, adroid devices and BlackBerry phones.

This assurance was given by founder of Foo Cafe Barbados, 23-year-old Lybron Sobers and founder of Polyevolution, Shannon Clarke, 27, during an interview today with Barbados TODAY.

They however acknowledged that one of the major challenges facing young entrepreneurs is access to funding and stressed the need to bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and investors.

The two young entrepreneurs hope to launch an exhibition on Friday between the 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Automotive Art Corporate Headquarters, Wildey, St. Michael. Sobers, who is a former student of Queen’s College, sees the event as a meeting space for entrepreneurs and an occasion to foster greater collaboration between entrepreneurs and the public.

He pointed out that Polyevolution, which will be participating in the exhibition, was a learning network for software developers and designers. Clarke explained that in addition to the exhibition, there will be Red Doner company, and a social network that will link blood donors with blood drive campaigns.

He noted that Red Doner was one of the finalists in the recently completed UNDP Youth In Caribbean Innovative Challenge.

Sobers, who has a first degree in Aeronautics Science and is the holder of a pilot’s licence, is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Financial and Business Economics and also application development. He explained that the initiative, which will be supported by the Barbados Entrepreneurial Foundation, Automotive Art and the Barbados Coalition of Service Industries, is expected to attract about 40 participants and efforts were being made to get more partners on board.

“The exhibition is about exposing more young talent who have an interest in information and communications technology,” he stressed.

Clarke, who attended Harrison College before going on to the St. Augustine Campus of the UWI where he gained an honour’s degree in Electrical and Computer engineering was the 2011/2012 National Innovation Contest winners for his mobile application called Clever-Grocer.

This invention is an intelligent shopping assistant that provides purchasing recommendations based on shoppers preferences.

“The reason I am launching Polyevolution alongside Foo Cafe Barbados,” Clarke said, is because I would like to see more of our computer science graduates apply their skills to solve local problems via modern technology and software.

“As a start in January 2013, I held one of the first gatherings of like minds specifically for soft ware developers. This meeting was held in association with Barbados Coalition of Service Industries and the Barbados ICT Association.”

Clarke said the meeting was held over three days and covered various technologies in the creation of modern software applications. He explained that Polyevolution was the next step toward provide a virtual environment where software developers and designers could collaborate, learn and share with each other regardless of distance.

Clarke pointed out that Barbadians could learn a lot about software development and even business development through articles and videos posted on line by persons overseas, but asked:

“Why can’t we learn it from local persons as well. We have the talent and the skills, the only deficiency is that Barbados does not have the infrastructure and systems to facilitate the learning of these rapidly changing technologies.”

Clarke suggested that through the Foo-Cafe Barbados and Polyevolution partnership, Barbados would finally have that infrastructure in place. (NC)

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