JBDC (Jamaica Business Development Corporation) | Head Office: 14 Camp Road, Kingston, Jamaica | Incubator & Resource Centre: 76 Marcus Garvey Drive 1 876 928 5161-5 (Camp Rd.) | 1 876 758 3966-8 (IRC) info@jbdc.net

“NEW TECHNOLOGIES ARE BUSINESS DRIVERS FOR CREATIVES”– JBDC DEPUTY CEO

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Local experts urged creative entrepreneurs to explore new technologies as means of driving business at the JBDC 'In Concert’ event on Monday, May 30, 2022. The forum returned for the first time since 2020 under the theme ‘Making ‘Cents’ of Meta..’ as the Corporation explored the emerging opportunities presented by the Metaverse, Metadata, Non-fungible Tokens (NFTs) and blockchain technology for the cultural and creative industries.


Harold Davis, Deputy Chief Executive Officer - Jamaica Business Development Corporation

Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Harold Davis noted “The whole business of innovation and the creative industry has shared an interesting relationship. Digital has reshaped the creative industries in many ways. It has changed business models in certain industries completely. The way how music, visual and performing arts are marketed and shared has changed significantly because of technology.”

Continuing, he pointed out that “Digital innovation is here to stay and the creative industry must leverage it so we can drive our business even further, so that we can internationalise our products even more. We here at the JBDC see digital technology as business drivers and enablers.”

The metaverse is estimated as having multi-trillion in opportunities and is essentially a virtual space people can visit, spend time and trade in. While metadata is defined as a secondary, hidden, layer of descriptive information embedded into a digital file. President of the iCreate Institute, Dominic Summers noted “The major point of discussions like these are to see how new digital technology is bringing opportunities. With it, we see equitable access. It is also changing the way we interact with markets. With these technologies we can quickly, readily and easily distribute across the world.”

Summers also added that “The technologies such as the blockchain, NFTs and the metaverse are a means to an end of more ownership in this massive growing space in the digital economy.” He encouraged entrepreneurs to stay away from the “shiny new object syndrome” which he described as the tendency of going after every new trend. He went on to say “You as a creative and entrepreneur have to look and ask what tools do I need to get to my end?”

Another new technology discussed in the forum was the concept of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT). This is a unique financial security consisting of digital data. NFT guarantees users the deed of ownership, meaning that their virtual goods cannot be copied.

Commenting on the ways creative entrepreneurs can leverage NFT, Mr. Adrian Dunkley, Founder of StarApple AI noted “You can sell your art as an NFT but still preserve the rights to that piece of art, you can also get revenue in perpetuity for the rest of your life, so every time it is sold you get a percentage of that for the rest of your life. This technology is also allowing your art to live longer than you do.”

The conversation progressed to the exploration of trading in the digital space and how NFTs can allow creative entrepreneurs to gain more value from their art. Mrs. Denise Marshall Miller, Senior Manager, Bond, Equity, and Digital Asset Trading, VM Wealth Management spoke on manipulating NFTS in the financial marketplace and noted that NFTs can be considered an alternative investment option to stocks and bonds. “There is capacity for it to expand your revenue because of the royalties built into it. This can cause generational wealth to continue as it provides you with an income. You want to ensure that the NFT you are putting out has some utility, value and is also original,” she added.

There has always been an apprehension to embracing technology fully and there may be the fear of technology robbing individuals of their jobs and causing creative processes to be shortcut. Mr. Davis noted that “There are significant opportunities in the metaverse, with creative functions right across the value-chain. Because these are “worlds” that are being created there will always be opportunities for individuals within the creative industries such graphic designers, animators, architectural designers just to name a few.”

The JBDC ‘In Concert’ is a space for discussion on topics relevant to entrepreneurs within the cultural and creative industries. Ms. Valerie Veira, Chief Executive Officer commenting on the introductory nature of this conversation along with the need for more discussions surrounding it, said “We are starting on this journey, looking at new opportunities in the creative industries. We at the JBDC always want to be breaking the barriers. Even though the knowledge is not yet well developed, we know we have to start the conversation.”