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PUC launches innovation programme for young entrepreneurs

Public Utilities Commission initiative

Public Utilities Commission initiative

Public Utilities Commission initiative

Friday, July 11, 2014. AARON HUMES Reporting: The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is looking for young aspiring Belizean entrepreneurs and innovators to participate in a competition that may, down the road, make them a lot of money and name recognition.

But the Innovation Programme Belize, according to PUC Chairman John Avery, is about starting to stoke creative computer literate minds to think ahead about the future of Belizean technology; to become content “producers” rather than “users” and “consumers”, he said.

A workshop for 45 selected participants from around the country to be held in August in Belize City, facilitated by BrightPath Foundation, will help prepare and guide participants into making an app worthy of the developing technological world.

The participants will be grouped into two and work together on developing a mobile application for future use. PUC Commissioner, Roosevelt Blades, says that this is an opportunity not to be missed, especially as the PUC is putting up all out-district participants at the hotel and paying all other costs including transportation.

On the heels of a similar program launched by the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology and Public Utilities beginning last year Carla Maheia-Hart, PUC Commissioner working with the program, says this year is just the beginning.

The competition is open to students from 12 to 18 years and for future instalments will address any issue of concern to Belize for which a solution can be found.

Winners will receive a tablet and a year’s worth of internet service and get a chance to enter their product in the Young Innovators’ Programme of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) at their annual Telecom World conference in November.

Costs will be covered by the PUC including lodging at the Ramada Princess Hotel where the event will be held beginning on August 18.

Applications may be submitted by July 31 to ICT Manager at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports in Belmopan, Ruel Cima, or the PUC’s Public Relations and Consumer Affairs Officer Deseree Arzu in Belize City.

The PUC is also accepting submissions for 18 chaperones, persons aged 25 or older who may be parents but preferably are information technology teachers.

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