With the aim of facilitating a greater awareness of programmes which will assist businesses to incorporate innovation into their processes, The Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) in partnership with the Chaguanas Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CCIC) hosted a session entitled ‘Encouraging Innovation in Corporate T&T’ on Wednesday 19th July, 2017 at CARIRI’s Centre for Enterprise Development, Freeport.
CARIRI and the CCIC have established a strong relationship that is built on both organizations’ desire for diversification and growth in the economy.
This particular session was geared towards promoting the intent of the CCIC to remain proactive in providing avenues for businesses in the Central area and this was the platform that CARIRI chose to promote two new initiatives that will greatly assist organizations.
The first, is the Innovation Gap Analysis Programme (iGap) which is intended to identify and engage potential innovations in existing companies and will also address the need to develop a culture of Innovation in private sector enterprises, particularly SMEs, based on the recognition that SMEs are particularly vulnerable to the rapidly changing dynamics of the international economic environment and, to remain competitive, these enterprises must keep their value proposition current, relevant and valuable to customers.
The Data Innovation Solutions Centre (DISC) is the second initiative, which involves Business Intelligence and Data Analytics which will use the respective organizations data to provide information that can assist in making more sustainable and innovative business decisions.
This session also facilitated the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between CARIRI and exporTT. The signing of the MOU was witnessed by Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry.
This MOU will see greater collaboration between the two institutions; its general intent is to amalgamate the efforts of both parties by leveraging on the strengths and synergizing current projects/programmes.
Some of the aims of the MOU focus on the promotion of Data Analytics solutions, capitalizing on existing and upcoming technology and trade agreements, sharing of industry information on legal and regulatory developments, market intelligence and information on global trends as well as identification of expertise for advancement of local and regional skill sets, among a host of other initiatives.
CARIRI and exporTT have outlined as a priority, their commitment to the development of the local economy and maintain that more can be done together. The Minister of Trade and Industry commended both organizations for taking this initiative as she endorsed the collaboration.
The signing of the MOU with exporTT and the collaboration with the Chaguanas Chamber of Industry and Commerce opens up a new world of possibilities that will translate into tangible offerings in the near future from all parties.
Signing the MOU on behalf of CARIRI was the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Liaquat Ali Shah; and representing the interests of exporTT was its Chairman, Mr Ashmeer Mohammed. Senator the Honorable Paula Gopee Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry witnessed the signing.
St. Kitts – June 17, 2017: Tech start-ups from five Caribbean territories scored big at the PitchIT Caribbean Challenge mobile app entrepreneurship competition on June 17, each winning US$5,000 in seed funding to develop their businesses. All five enterprises have also been awarded spots in PitchIT Caribbean business accelerators across the region.
After two rigorous days of pitching to two different panels of judges and an audience of regional and global investors, SENSI (Grenada), Nestd (Trinidad & Tobago), Kraasimages (Jamaica), Isle&Dine (Barbados) and The LocaL App (Antigua & Barbuda) were chosen from 25 tech teams representing seven Caribbean territories.
PitchIt’s Chief Coach Sergiu Escobar, Managing Director of Canada’s Founders Institute, also presented three finalists, Kraasimages of Jamaica, nDuna and LoanFren from Trinidad & Tobago with US$300 worth of Budgeto Access, the institute’s online platform that helps entrepreneurs with budgeting. LoanFren also received 6-12 months of individual coaching by Escobar and coach Damion Daley, a Jamaican software architect and Tamu Petra Browne (Trinidad & Tobago).
Deputy Prime Minister of St. Kitts Hon. Shawn Richards pledged the continued support of his government in promoting entrepreneurship in St. Kitts as an effort to lower unemployment in the country. “A carpenter becomes a builder and grows a large building company,” he said, alluding to how acquired skills can help develop a nation.
St. Kitts & Nevis has already invested $8 million through the Caribbean Development Bank in several different technical vocational education and training projects designed to enhance entrepreneurial skills beginning at the secondary school level.
A total of 25 tech entrepreneurs from nine countries across the Caribbean participated in the competition, which aims to highlight and support the growth of the region’s top talent in tech app development.
Finalists by country were: The LocaL App of Antigua &Barbuda, Isle&Dine, Podium & Pocket Shop of Barbados, Oruh, Tect, Lynck & CariFind of Dominica, SENSI of Grenada, Munchies of Guyana, Link Your Purpose, Kraasimages, My Lending Angel, App@round, OneShapp & ResearchAid+ of Jamaica, Pazport of St. Lucia, MyStudyLibrary of St. Vincent & the Grenadines, GrocerY, WEV, Parlay T&T, Nestd, LoanFren Limited, nDuna & Trust PIN of Trinidad & Tobago.
PitchIT Caribbean is a program aimed at enhancing the mobile app development ecosystem across CARICOM. It is designed to accelerate mobile app entrepreneurs through the start-up life cycle, which runs from ideation to pitch, from pitch to market and from market to maturity.
It currently supports four hubs, one each in Barbados, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad & Tobago. PitchIT Caribbean is the central operation of the Caribbean Mobile Innovation Project, which is part of the Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC), an initiative funded by the government of Canada and executed by infoDev/World Bank Group, through a three-party Caribbean consortium, led by UWI Consulting Inc., working along with Mona School of Business and Management, and Mona Business Support Services.
More on PitchIT Caribbean Challenge: https://www.facebook.com/PitchITCaribbean/
Caribbean Mobile Innovation Project/PitchIT Caribbean
PITCHIT TOP 5 June 17, 2017: Representatives of the five winning teams from the PitchIT Caribbean Challenge show off their $5,000 prizes after topping the World Bank/infoDev-sponsored two-day competition in St. Kitts. 25 tech teams from seven countries across the Caribbean showcased their mobile app business ideas in front of a panel of regional and international investors.
From left: Staysean Graham Daley of Kraasimages (Jamaica), Heather Barker of Isle&Dine (Barbados), Elijah James of The LocaL App (Antigua & Barbuda), Tamara Prosper of SENSI (Grenada) and Shriya Rampersad of Nestd (Trinidad & Tobago).