CARIRI’s mCentre eCAL Workshop

On Wednesday 11th March 2015 the Caribbean Industrial Institute (CARIRI) teamed up with the Ministry of Education- Curriculum Division, The Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development and Microsoft Trinidad and Tobago to host the mCentre eCAL Workshop entitled “Idea to Market” for the creation and the commercializing of Apps for schools around the Country. This workshop was held at the Centre for Enterprise Development, Innovation Avenue, Freeport and involved schools such as Cowen Hamilton Secondary School, Bishops Anstey High School East, St.Anthony’s College, St.Stephen’s College, Success Laventille Secondary, Naparima College and Trinity College East.


The session accommodated a number of speakers such as Mr. Liaquat Ali Shah, CEO of CARIRI who spoke on CARIRI’s mandate of enhancing industrial capability and competitiveness, both locally and regionally, by providing a range of technical and technological support services. He went on to state that the mCentre eCAL Workshop exemplified CARIRI’s vision of leading and serving through Innovation and Technology. The workshop enabled CARIRI to harness and develop the raw talents of the nation’s students by providing opportunities in the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to ensure growth and development in the ever changing global environment.


The pivotal goal of this workshop was to give students the opportunity, to identify key aspects in the App business and to see the benefits of how technology has aided with learning and why creativity and innovation is essential for future propulsion. This eCAL workshop is part of CARIRI-CED mCentre’s vision to invocate the use of ICT in the education system. As a partner of Microsoft Trinidad and Tobago, the MIC (Microsoft Innovation Centre) proposed training to schools in the fields of Coding, designing and the other essentials needs to create Apps from the ground up. According to Ms Francis Correia from Microsoft Trinidad and Tobago, “creativity is about taking an idea to the next level;” hence training of schools in App development will breathe new concepts in technology into the market.


The workshop included an understanding for the App commercialization process, it examined the different stages, effective business planning why and how you should have a reliable business plan for a particular idea, creating good Marketability and Managing Finances, as the students were prompted by Mrs. Karen Sukha one of CARIRI’s Business Development Officers that Profit does not contribute to the functions of a sustainable business but rather Cash flow. Other aspects such as, Preparing for Investors presented by Ms. Sherese Chee Mooke, explained how to prepare a pitch to investors and the importance of the analysis of data throughout the whole process were also examined encouraging the young minds to become aware of entrepreneurial ventures.


This workshop also pointed out to students how technological devices has made knowledge vastly available to them at their fingertips and how it can be taken further from just the spark of an idea. There is a great demand for Apps and it will only increase over time according to Minister Tewarie, in life we always have a problem to solve regardless of its capacity, technology has made some problems easier to solve and as aspiring App developers, he expects this kind of innovation to increase especially coming from Trinidad and Tobago. The Minister went on to say that “Technology is the beat of opportunity” and sustainability will be better because of technology. This is the purpose of eCal and the mission of the mCentre to promote and bring-forth this kind of creativity in young individuals throughout the country.