Impact – David Ablack
“You’ve got to be different, you’ve got to be creative, you’ve got to be innovative at what you do and you have to do it for yourself.”
Where does your inspiration come from?
I try to make things better, more efficient and less wasteful. Ideas just come to me. It is a need. I am someone who likes to have things in order. If something is out of sync, it sticks in my mind until I can find a solution. A lot of my inspiration comes to me when I am sleeping, believe it or not. I will dream and when I wake up the next morning I try to create it. I solve so many problems when I am sleeping that I can’t when I’m awake.
What advice would you give to someone who is not confident about applying to the programme?
Go for it because a lot of people think that they can’t be successful because it’s just not their station in life. That’s not true, you just have to go for it. Someone is always going to turn up to help you if you can’t figure something out. i2i gives a lot of assistance for business plans and other things. I was in the first group and it was a little more difficult for me because I had to do everything; I wrote a whole book on my project. Now there are people who can help you. And the ideas that I have seen have taught me that there are no stupid ideas.
What made you believe your idea was worth submitting?
I knew it when I walked into the grocery one day because I wanted a business that was bulletproof in case the economy falls or there are any problems. People have to eat. So I said hydroponics because I saw stuff on the shelf that was really expensive. So I said my goal was to produce an A-class product and keep it at a really cheap price. Food is a major problem in Trinidad. People don’t like farming because they feel it’s the bottom of the barrel. With the technology that is available that is being used internationally, you can grow things and the product is better, cleaner and healthier. The amount of foodstuff being imported right now to Trinidad is unbelievable. There is a huge opportunity in the food business. We need to be more self-sufficient in the food industry. Many countries are turning to hydroponics and you can grow anything. This is going to make a huge impact in Trinidad.
Why do you think the i2i programme is important?
I think ‘8 to 4’ careers are dying; I don’t think they exist anymore. You have no job security. You think you have a great job and you’re so bright but you can be replaced in a heartbeat. I have seen it so many times. You’ve got to be different, you’ve got to be creative, you’ve got to be innovative at what you do and you have to do it for yourself. I think about entrepreneurship and Trinidad has a lot of business potential, people have a lot of ideas. Entrepreneurship is definitely the way to go. When you are doing a job for someone else, there is no job security anymore so I would highly recommend going the entrepreneurship way.
David Ablack’s winning project was a hydroponic farm—a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions in water and without soil.