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“圭亚那谷歌”背后的企业家

(2016-06-29 14:33:31)
分类: 科学与技术
https://share.america.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/YLAI_Guyana_1_cropped-696x497.jpg

特里斯顿•汤普森是IntellectStorm的联合创始人,该公司专门提供信息技术和营销解决方案。(Courtesy photo)

当特里斯顿·汤普森(Triston Thompson)和他的表弟决定在2014年创建信息技术公司IntellectStorm时十分很清楚,他们将面对一段逆水行舟的艰苦历程。

这位20岁的年轻人说,“信息技术在圭亚那尚未被完全采用。那里的企业依然墨守陈规” 。

汤普森希望能够把他的国家带入21世纪。他曾在圭亚那大学(University of Guyana)主修计算机科学并以优异成绩毕业。他希望通过IntellectStorm向人们展示如何利用互联网来吸引客户并建立各种联系。

汤普森将他公司的产品之一称为“圭亚那谷歌”(Google of Guyana)。这个叫做“Directory.gy”的移动应用程序堪称是一种“圭亚那大全”(everything Guyana)信息资源,提供从时事新闻、活动预告到企业、餐馆和公共服务等各种信息的服务。Directory.gy已被圭亚那政府确认为圭亚那独立50周年的官方应用程序,并在牙买加举行的“加勒比地区信息技术挑战竞赛”(PitchIT Caribbean Challenge)中一举夺魁。

广交人脉

汤普森所面临的挑战之一是,如何为他的公司作宣传。

汤普森出生在一个距离圭亚那首都乔治敦(Georgetown)大约17公里叫做梅兰妮·代梅沙纳(Melanie Damishana)的村庄里。他说,“在圭亚那,你很难遇到一个能完全由你自行推销的创业生态系统”。你必须努力扩展人脉,让人们来“了解你,并知道你能做什么。”

参加“美洲青年领袖倡议”(Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative)的试点计划恰恰帮助他做到了这一点。汤普森的想法得到了一些宝贵的反馈和鼓励 ――  这是他参加美洲青年领袖倡议所获得的“最有助益的事情之一”。从那以后,他扩大了他的业务网络,并与另一个美洲青年领袖倡议会员一起合作开发了一个信息技术应用程序。

汤普森对在圭亚那推广更多的信息技术解决方案持乐观态度,深信IntellectStorm将成为圭亚那的顶级高科技公司之一。他的下一步计划是发展更多的人脉并与其他企业家和商界人士建立更紧密的联系。 他还表示,“即便是与政府部门工作的人也可以建立起很好的关系。说不定哪个人就会成为你事业发展的关键。”

保持与其他企业家之间的联系使得汤普森能够积极进取并专注于自己的企业,尤其是在资金短缺的第一年。他说,“参与企业家社区可以帮助你认识到你并非孤军作战,你的问题并不特别”。

他给其他企业家的忠告是:“把积极乐观的人团聚在周围,他们可以让你成长,而不是使你垮台。”


Meet the man behind the ‘Google of Guyana’

https://share.america.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/YLAI_Guyana_1_cropped-696x497.jpgTriston Thompson is a co-founder of IntellectStorm, which specializes in providing IT and marketing solutions. (Courtesy photo)

When Triston Thompson and his cousin decided to launch information technology company IntellectStorm in 2014, they knew they would have an uphill battle.

“IT is not something that is adopted that much in Guyana,” the 20-year-old explained. “Businesses are still stuck in their old way of doing things.”

Thompson wanted to help bring his country into the 21st century. He had studied computer science and graduated cum laude from the University of Guyana. Through IntellectStorm, he wants to show people how the internet can be used as a tool to engage customers and build relationships.

Thompson calls one of his company’s products the “Google of Guyana.” This mobile app, called Directory.gyis a resource on “everything Guyana,” from current news and upcoming events to businesses, restaurants and public services. Directory.gy was recognized by the Guyanan government as the official application of the 50th anniversary of Guyana’s independence and took first place at the PitchIT Caribbean Challenge in Jamaica.

Connecting with others

A challenge for Thompson was figuring out how to get the word out about his company.

“It’s difficult in Guyana to come into the entrepreneurial ecosystem and just sell yourself alone,” said Thompson, who grew up in a village called Melanie Damishana, about 17 kilometers from Guyana’s capital of Georgetown. You have to expand your network and get people to “know you and what you can do.”

Participating in a Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative pilot program helped him do just that. Thompson received valuable feedback on his ideas, and encouragement — “one of the most helpful things” about his YLAI experience. Since then, he has expanded his professional network and collaborated with another YLAI fellow on an IT application.

Thompson is optimistic that more IT solutions will catch on in Guyana and that IntellectStorm will become one of the top Guyanan tech companies. What’s next? More connections and stronger relationships with other entrepreneurs and businesspeople. “Even people in government can be good connections to build,” he adds. “You never know who could be the key to your progress.”

Connecting with other entrepreneurs has helped Thompson stay positive and focused on his venture, especially during the first year when funds were tight. “Being part of a community of entrepreneurs helps you to realize that you’re not alone, that your problems are not unique,” he said.

His advice to other entrepreneurs? “Surround yourself with positive people who will build you up and not tear you down.”

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