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).
Over the period May 8th - 12th, 2017, CARIRI took a significant step towards enhancing its contribution to the national climate change mitigation agenda via the hosting of a four-day intensive Training Workshop on Developing the Capability for Measuring and Verifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions. The Workshop Programme covered the areas of ISO 14064 - 1: Measuring an Organization's Carbon Footprint Essentials; ISO 14064 - 2: Measuring an Organization's Environmental Impact Essentials and ISO 14064 - 3: Greenhouse Gas Verification using ISO 14064 - 3.
The Workshop was hosted with funding support from the Canadian Government, under a special fund for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, which is administered by the Barbados based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). The Workshop Facilitator was Mr. Evan Jones of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and training was afforded to six (6) staff members of CARIRI and a staff member of the CDB.
The Training forms part of CARIRI's on-going efforts to increase its range of service offerings to more effectively meet client needs for new and improved technology-based services, while simultaneously building capacity in key areas of strategic importance to national economic development, in support of Government's diversification efforts.
The hosting of the Workshop was informed by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago's approval of a Carbon Reduction Strategy which targets energy efficiency and GHGs emission reduction in the transport, power generation and industrial sectors in order to meet the emission reduction goals established by both the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement, to which the Government is a signatory, within the overarching United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The Carbon Reduction Strategy, which is being administered by the Multilateral Environmental Agreement Unit (MEAU) of the Ministry of Planning and Development, is intended to address the implementation of a robust Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) system which will track the success of measures taken. The monitoring, reporting and verification of greenhouse gas emissions are a requirement for signatories to the Paris Agreement.
The Training Workshop will provide CARIRI with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively plan and conduct GHG monitoring and measurement activities, inclusive of providing independent third party verification of reported emissions to give credence to the collected data. In addition, the Workshop will facilitate knowledge transfer of strategies for reducing companies' green house gas emissions.
The capability developed will enable CARIRI to give support to both the local MRV initiative and the development of a local carbon market. It will also enable CARIRI to position itself to support similar initiatives regionally.
Front Row: L-R Miguel Andrews (CARIRI); Debra Boyce, Snr Trade Commissioner, Canadian High Commission; Michaeline Narcisse, Trade Commissioner, Canadian High Commission; Khaliqa Mohammed, Caribbean Development Bank (CDB); Amanda Lalla (CARIRI); Eka Rudder- Fairman (CARIRI)
Back Row: Robert Nunes (CARIRI); Narrin Jonas (CARIRI); Matthew Tom Yick (CARIRI); Evan Jones, Training Facilitator, Canadian Standards Association
L-R: Khaliqa Mohammed, Caribbean Development Bank (CDB); Eka Rudder- Fairman (CARIRI); Evan Jones, Training Facilitator, Canadian Standards Association (CSA); Michaeline Narcisse, Trade Commissioner, Canadian High Commission; Debra Boyce, Snr Trade Commissioner, Canadian High Commission