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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Global Entrepreneurship Network is excited to announce the opening of Startup Huddle in St. Lucia, to help local entrepreneurs hone their pitch skills and discover solutions to the challenges they face.
Startup Huddle is a program designed to educate, engage and connect entrepreneurs. As an experiential learning opportunity, the Startup Huddle format is consistent in each location: on a given morning, one or two early-stage startup founders give a six-minute presentation of their companies to a diverse audience of peers, mentors, educators and advisers. Each presentation is followed by a 20-minute question and answer session and feedback via an audience survey.
“St. Lucia is a hub of talent, skill, creatives and inventors, who are just looking for that opportunity to make something of themselves. Startup Huddle St. Lucia could be that catalyst our young entrepreneurs have been waiting for,” said Michelle N. Samuel, recruitment ambassador to St. Lucia for the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative.
The culture surrounding Startup Huddle is that of a supportive, neutral space, welcoming entrepreneurs to be open and honest about their businesses and the challenges they face. Each event is organized by local entrepreneurs and community builders who volunteer their time to secure a venue, vet and select presenters and publicize the event.
Brian Louisy, the executive director of the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture – which is the host organization of Global Entrepreneurship Week – said he is delighted to see individuals who share a belief in entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial spirit emerge, collaborate and play a role in the St. Lucia entrepreneurship ecosystem through a variety of programs, including Startup Huddle.
“We believe that young St. Lucian entrepreneurs have exhibited great innovation, and the introduction of Startup Huddle brings like-minded people together throughout the year to explore business and startup opportunities – and to build solid teams using a tried and tested approach,” said Louisy.
As opposed to a traditional “pitch” environment, Startup Huddle was not created to be critical of entrepreneurs, but rather for the presenters to learn from shared experiences and find ways to support one another as a community.
“In St. Lucia there is no centralized ‘space’ provided to startups to allow them to in a sense to ‘spread their entrepreneurial wings,’ and finding resources to help them get to the next level can at times be very difficult. Being an entrepreneur myself, I know all too well what those challenges are and can be,” said Samuel. “Startup Huddle is a program that is important because it provides an ideal environment for local entrepreneurs to meet and express themselves and to connect with key individuals and companies who can help make a difference.
Startup Huddle is an educational experience for both the audience and the presenters. Presenters are given resources and support to prepare for their presentation and surveyed after their presentation to see what they’ve learned. Samuel said she and the entire Startup Huddle St. Lucia team hope to achieve several goals for participants, including:
1. Learning and development
2. Résumé and CV building for young participants – Startup Huddle St. Lucia organizers will provide a certificate of participation for presenters
3, Networking opportunities with other entrepreneurs, potential partners and industry leaders
“Startup Huddle is the perfect space for entrepreneurs to meet, share, learn and collaborate,” said Samuel.