Port of Spain – December 7, 2016: Dispelling notions of male domination in the field, five mobile app developers – two each from Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago and the other from Montserrat – took all the top prizes at the PitchIT Caribbean Challenge tech entrepreneurship competition recently concluded in Trinidad & Tobago.
Winning entries The Interview JM and QuickPlate of Jamaica, D Carnival Scene and SKED of Trinidad, and IndeTours of Montserrat were selected after two rigorous days of pitching to two panels of judges and an audience of regional and global investors. Each the top five teams will receive US$5000 in seed funding to develop their businesses. They have also been awarded spots in PitchIT Caribbean business accelerators across the region.
In announcing the winners, Chief Judge Rodney Browne from St. Kitts & Nevis and eCaribbean Ltd., said the five were the most impressive of the ten finalists who made presentations to the panel of judges earlier in the day. In accord with Mr. Brown was Canadian High Commissioner to Trinidad & Tobago, Carla Hogen Rufelds, who said she was “impressed by the success of the project, which only serves to enrich the longstanding relationship between Canada and the Caribbean region.” She was also pleased by the camaraderie displayed between the contestants and how well they supported each other throughout the challenge.
A total of 25 tech entrepreneurs from ten countries across the Caribbean (up from last year’s seven) participated in the competition, the aim of which is to identify and enhance the region’s top mobile app development talent.
Finalists by country comprised: TickeTing from Antigua & Barbuda; Rivver, Fix Device, and Data-Bus from Barbados; Buzzshop from Dominica; Click-n-Learn from Guyana; Tikkiz, Driving Change, Shopmobi, and Atendify from Jamaica; Teacher’s Pet and Lim’n Spoon from St. Lucia; Oversea from St. Vincent & the Grenadines; Atete from Suriname; and Optimo Cloud, GoSweat, upShopr, Tech4Agri, EveDrop and The Billionaires League from Trinidad & Tobago.
PitchIT Caribbean is a programme 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 4 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 Programme 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
TOP 5 MOBILE TECH ENTREPRENEURS, ALL WOMEN!
Winning teams from the PitchIT Caribbean Challenge competition show off their US$5,000 prizes for finishing in the top five following two days of competition in Port of Spain, Trinidad from December 2-3, 2016.
From left: Danielle Tait of The Interview JM from Jamaica, Kelly-Ann Bethel of SKED from Trinidad & Tobago; Ayana St. Louis of D Carnival Scene from Trinidad & Tobago; Karlene Francis, World Bank’s Programme Officer of the Entrepreneurship Programme for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC); Nerissa Greenway representing IndeTours from Montserrat and Monique Powell of QuickPlate, Jamaica.
Over the weekend, 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. They also will have guaranteed spots in PitchIT Caribbean business accelerators across the region.
PITCHIT CARIBBEAN FINALISTS STRIKE A POSE
Twenty-five tech teams from seven countries across the Caribbean showcased their mobile app business ideas in front of a panel of regional and international investors in Port of Spain, Trinidad from December 2-3, 2016. Third from left (front) is Karlene Francis, the World Bank’s Programme Officer for the Entrepreneurship Programme for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC); at centre (front) is Canadian High Commissioner to Trinidad & Tobago, Carla Hogen Rufelds.
October 15th 2016 at the CARIRI-Centre of Enterprise Development, Freeport
On October 15th 2016, the CARIRI Business Hatchery held its Cycle #7B Fulfilment Ceremony. Lead Consultant Mrs. Sherese Chee Mook thanked the graduates for the time and effort they committed. She further stated that they were able to build the ladder while climbing.
A past graduate, Mr. Kevan Sinanan who is the owner of Yfumble said that the programme helped him improve his confidence level and he can now pitch to investors. He advised graduates to always have a plan B and don’t give up when your product is initially rejected. He advised them to look at a different market and tweek the product. He mentioned how he created a video about his product even before he had developed a prototype.
The graduates all agreed that the programme has been instrumental in guiding them in building and understanding their target market needs more clearly. They are more confident about the product and service they offer and their next step is clear in their mind.
The business hatchery signature programme will be continuing its trust to helping entrepreneurs; start-ups and small businesses build better businesses.
Upcoming programmes are:
- BH Launch It event – 29 October 2016 and December 10 2016
- Accounting and Finance 3 Day workshop - 3rd November 2016
- Preparing Winning Business Proposal & Plans 2 Day Workshop - 26 November 2016.
Log on and learn more http://www.cedcariri.com/index.php/hatchery
First Row - Jeremiah Cruickshank, Muriel Cooper, Tamia Griffith, Ashley Mitchell, Kevan Sinanan, Melissa Biral, Sherese Chee Mook
Second Row - Ricardo Sullivan, Rebakah Dass, Zakiya Penn, Arnold Babwah, Donna Phillips, David Flemming, Benjinus Okoli, Kent Vieira.
Congratulations to the graduates of Cycle #7B CARIRI’s Business Hatchery Programme!