25 entrepreneurs chase US$75,000 in PitchIT Caribbean Challenge
US$75,000 in cash and prizes will be up for grabs when teams from Jamaica and Trinidad, who account for 14 of the 25 finalists, vie for honours with other regional hopefuls in the PitchIT Caribbean Challenge tech entrepreneur competition.
The competition is scheduled for December 2-3, 2016 at the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre in Port of Spain.
The finalists, who were selected from over 70 entries from across CARICOM, include 8 teams from Trinidad & Tobago, 6 from Jamaica, 3 from Barbados, 2 from St. Lucia, and one each from Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Guyana, Montserrat, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, and Suriname. Seeking partnerships, funding and even buyers for their enterprises, all competitors will pitch to a panel of judges and an audience of regional and global investors.
Following the intense two-day competition, five winners will each be awarded a coveted spot in PitchIT Caribbean business accelerators located in Barbados, Dominica, St. Kitts & Nevis and Trinidad & Tobago, as well as US$5,000 in seed funding to help develop their businesses. The acceleration services will include mentoring by business and technology experts, networking opportunities, working space and facilities, expense-paid trips to international conferences and competitions, as well as 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 training programme and the wider CARICOM, responded very well to our invitation to the challenge. The quality of ideas presented made our job of selecting 25 very challenging, but we are excited by the diversity shown and believe that we have a strong set of finalists and the showcase in December is highly anticipated.”
The finalists by country are: TickeTing from Antigua & Barbuda; Rivver, Fix Device, and Data-Bus from Barbados; Buzzshop from Dominica; Click-n-Learn from Guyana; Tikkiz, QuickPlate, Driving Change, Shopmobi, Atendify and The Interview JM from Jamaica; IndeTours from Montserrat; Teacher’s Pet and Dev758 Restaurant from St. Lucia; Oversea from St. Vincent & the Grenadines; A Creative Person from Suriname; and Optimo Cloud, SKED, AmAthletes, Communicare, Tech4Agri, D Carnival scene, EveDrop and The Billionaires League from Trinidad & Tobago.
On November 30 and December 1, the 25 finalists will participate in a pitching bootcamp that will prepare them for the key competition days of December 2 and 3.