Teams from Jamaica and Trinidad account for 18 of the 25 finalists selected to compete for a share of US$75,000 in cash and prizes in the PitchIT Caribbean Challenge tech entrepreneur competition, scheduled for June 3, 2016 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, Jamaica.
The finalists, which were selected from nearly 80 entries from across CARICOM, include 9 teams from Trinidad & Tobago, 9 from Jamaica; 2 from Barbados, and one each from Dominica, St. Kitts & Nevis, Guyana and St. Lucia; all of whom will pitch to a panel of judges and an audience of regional and global investors.
Five winners will each be awarded a coveted spot in PitchIT Caribbean business accelerators located in Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis and Trinidad & Tobago, as well as US$5000 in seed funding to help develop their businesses. The business acceleration services will include mentoring by business and technology experts, networking opportunities, working space and facilities, expense-paid trips to international conferences and competitions, intense product development and investor readiness training.
Commenting on the process and the finalist selection, project manager Bianca Welds explained that “tech entrepreneurs, both those in our programme and the wider CARICOM, responded very well to our invitation to the challenge. In fact, it made our job of selecting 25, from the nearly 80 entries, very difficult, but we believe that the finalists are strong and that the showcase in June will be exciting.”
The finalists by country are: Medi Revu and Caribbean Transit Solutions from Barbados; LinkUp Group from Dominica; Directory.Gy from Guyana; Bookfusion, MekUp, Samelogic, Pandosoft, GetThere, ClickPage, Eventah, EducaTours Ja and Mobile Money Solutions from Jamaica; Ash.co from St. Kitts & Nevis; FARMS from St. Lucia; Wanderscape, Kewplus, Software Interactive, Wallet, Injury Care Utility (ICU), Caribbean Treasure, Drop and Lifeball Technologies from Trinidad & Tobago.
On June 1 and 2 the 25 finalists will participate in a pitching bootcamp which will prepare them for the key competition days of June 3 and 4.
The event is open to the public at a cost of US$60 for a day pass and US$100 for the two days. Students with ID will pay JM$2,000 for a day pass and JM$3,000 for the two days.
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