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 St. Kitts and Nevis.
Deputy Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis 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, MyLending Angel, [email protected], 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.