The YABT entrepreneur of the month is Mannin Marsh, a young tech entrepreneur from Jamaica, co-founder of The Vinelist Inc. and winner of the 2016 Caribbean Innovation Competition.The Vinelist Inc.is an online platform for retail businesses operating in emerging markets thatare looking for an alternative way to find new customers and access new markets for their products. “We are making it easier for stores to identify the customers who want what they sell by enabling consumers to post the products they want to buy and be connected to the relevant local stores who have them”.
The Vinelist Inc. launched their beta version a year ago. Now they are expanding the startup with a focus on electronic products. "Our insight and approach is what defines us. We are focused on generating a higher number of new consumers for businesses by driving commerce through consumer-driven technology. Our approach has proven to generate more qualified leads than the typical tech enabled retail platforms available today" claimed Mannin.
Since his launch in Kingston on August, 2015, they have generated over 1000 transactions from consumers living in Jamaica ranging from beauty supplies, electronics, and pharmaceuticals to baby products. “Of that 1000 we managed to connect 80% to 40 local stores who had the exact product or a similar alternative. This resulted in 67% of those consumers visiting the store and 35% purchasing the product (536 store visits, 280 purchases). They now want to partner with 50 retail businesses; 10 electronic retail companies by October and they are planning another launch for December”.
In the next year The Vinelist team see themselves as responsible for connecting the vast offline retail community in Jamaica to their online consumers. Their aim is to create a healthier retail ecosystem throughout the Caribbean and similar emerging markets across the world.
By using technology to support SME's and by making it easier for buyers to participate in their own local markets we believe that we can significantly improve the local retail economy which inevitably improves one's nation and the region they reside in.
YABT asked about the moment that Mannin realized that he wanted to be an entrepreneur: "It was more a series of circumstances and events than a particular moment that coursed me down the road to entrepreneurship. I started selling logos to sustain my first two years in college, so I guess, I was being an entrepreneur for a while before I knew that I wanted to be one".
Now, what makes him an outstanding entrepreneur is the willingness to learn and the openness to fail. “Without those two traits I wouldn't have taken my first step or continued after receiving my first punch in the face about what I thought I knew".
“It is important that as an entrepreneur you appreciate both your achievements and your failures. Use failure as your guide to understanding how best to apply that knowledge so that you can create real value, innovative solutions and ultimately great companies”.
For him, winning the Caribbean Innovation Award is both validation and a motivation. In addition to winning, the best part of participating in the CIC was getting feedback from people from all parts of Latin and North America. The opportunity to network and meet new people from different backgrounds certainly broadened their scope and vision as a team.
To learn more about Mannin’s startup please visit:
Web Site: www.thevinelist.com