Alton Bertie is a Branson Centre entrepreneur from the British Virgin Islands – working hard to revitalise the music scene in the Caribbean.

Today, we’re sharing the story behind Alton’s business journey, his lessons learnt with the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, and the ways that new technologies are helping his company, ABX, grow and succeed.

Creativity and passion are, and have always been, the driving forces in Alton Bertie’s life. Coming from a long line of professional musicians, Alton graduated from the prestigious Berklee College of Music and catapulted to the top of the music industry. Now he has merged his talents with his fierce entrepreneurial spirit to form ABX – a content creation company aiming to assist other Caribbean businesses in elevating their appeal.

Virgin Unite, Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, Caribbean, Alton Bertie

Virgin Unite, Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, Caribbean, Alton Bertie

Tell us about your business, ABX?

ABX is a music creation company based in the British Virgin Islands. ABX’s primary focus is on music creation. By providing Hollywood-style soundtracks for advertisements and various other media, ABX work to enhance the quality of ads in the Caribbean and give them a more cinematic feel. This more polished, professional approach to advertising will benefit any business seeking to widen their target audience. To date, the company has won numerous awards worldwide and has worked with some of the regions most established names. Now, ABX hopes to turn its influence to the younger generation, and this year we will host lectures at schools across the BVI to encourage young people to pursue careers in music. I also plan to offer one-on-one mentoring to promising students, and provide showcases for new talent at special functions.

How did you learn about and connect with the Branson Centre? 

I got involved with the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship program in March 2016 and became an official entrepreneur in July 2016. The initial drive to succeed in the program came as a result of wanting to prove a point. Often in the Caribbean, people do not see music and the creative arts as a viable career. To validate these career choices I’ve worked diligently to succeed, hoping to be an example for others.

I want to send the message that whatever you choose you can succeed at it. Also, coming from a musical background, business training was very much needed and the Branson Centre program aided tremendously in that aspect (and continues to do so). 

Virgin Unite, Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, Caribbean, Alton Bertie

Virgin Unite, Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, Caribbean, Alton Bertie

What are some of the key lessons you’ve had since joining the Branson Centre? 

The financial training aspect of the program was a great eye opener. Also, the focus on growth strategy and risk management has opened my mind to other possibilities. The mentorship program guided me along the way and I have seen significant improvement in my business since starting the program.

My business has also seen an increase in clients and I feel much better equipped to handle the additional demands thanks to my training and mentorship. Several of our soundtracks have been featured around the world on different social media platforms and we’re currently working with photographers and videographers to create an unbelievable, multi-sensory experience offering.

How do you think your business can best benefit and give back to the wider community?

I firmly believe in giving back and getting involved in the wider community as much as possible. I'm passionate about people pursuing their dreams and believe that one of the most tragic things in life is not pursuing your passion. I strive to be an example and encourage others to do this.

I’m part of the "BVI Entrepreneurs Unite" group – a collection of the fiercest entrepreneurs in the Caribbean, working together to influence change for the betterment of entrepreneurs, and the wider community. We as entrepreneurs need to support each other and unite to have a stronger voice. 

Virgin Unite, Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, Caribbean, Alton Bertie

Virgin Unite, Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, Caribbean, Alton Bertie

What is the most important thing that running a business has taught you?

Running a business has transformed me into a different person. I'm trying more than ever to be a better person – understanding that my business is an extension of myself, and therefore, if I am better, then so is my business. To me, that's the most important thing I've learned is: if all is right with the inside then the outside will fall in place.

How important is the role of technology in your business?

Technology is central to my business and is one of my true passions. Since I'm constantly on the go, I have converted much of my work processes to mobile solutions. Now when I have an hour or two between meetings I can create music and videos on my iPhone or iPad. I've been speaking regularly to entrepreneurs about mobile solutions. In our line of work we’re always on the go and its useful doing all administrative work on an iPad or iPhone.

Since my company doesn’t deal with physical goods, all products are delivered via the internet. Communication is also done online and I am trying to further replace physical meetings to online meetings to save time and energy. It’s thanks to advancing technology that I can work across borders. In fact, I don't have to be in any specific location to get most jobs done. I read that in this day and age all companies should be technology companies to some extent. I agree with that.

With an already established reputation for quality and musicianship, ABX is looking to expand its offerings to clients to include videography, photography, graphic design, and data and analytics. Keep an eye – and ear – out for ABX, as there’s no limit to what’s in store.

To learn more about the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, Caribbean visit their website or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.