Six things we learned from Accelerate Caribbean’s webinar on crowdfunding
By Tassia Stewart on September 26, 2015
‘Chart your own path!’ ‘Don’t follow company!’ as we say in the Caribbean. Who hasn’t been taught to try being different, innovative, to differentiate from the crowd?
Yet what about raising your game thanks to the crowd? Crowdfunding is an increasingly popular method of raising capital for your business and projects by engaging your entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising money from a large number of people (a crowd), typically via the internet. Your success depends on your ability to build popularity, and to act as an inspirational entrepreneur enticing the stakeholders’ community to support your project.
Ms. A. Cecile Watson, the Caribbean’s own crowdfunding evangelist, encouraged us to go with the crowd, as she led Accelerate Caribbean’s webinar ‘How to win a crowdfunding?’ on Wednesday September 16, 2015. This webinar was the first in a four-part series put on by Accelerate Caribbean to engage various topics of interest to entrepreneurs over the next 12 months. Sixty-six captivated participants from across the entire Caribbean entrepreneurial community joined the webinar and Cecile did a phenomenal job explaining the ins and outs of crowd-funding as a means of raising capital.
Here are five takeaways that could help you boosting your project:
Good luck to our innovators and entrepreneurs working to pitch their crowdfunding campaigns to grow their businesses and create homegrown jobs and opportunities. Follow this link to revisit Cecile’s crowdfunding webinar.
Accelerate Caribbean is a Business Incubation and Training program designed by infoDev (the World Bank Group) as part of its Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC), funded by the Government of Canada. The project is implemented by IMC Worldwide Ltd in partnership with Koltai & Co, UWI Consulting, and BCSI, with a focus on increasing business enablers’ capacity to innovate and scale-up their service offering to entrepreneurs through a tailored package of training and mentorship.
IMC Worldwide is a UK based international development consultancy with over 50 years’ experience managing complex programs addressing the world’s foremost international development challenges.
 Cecile Watson is the Co-Founder and CEO of Pitch & Choose, the Caribbean’s first native crowdfunding platform. Her impressive career in business and finance informed her crowdfunding experience which has taken her from the Caribbean to North America, Africa and back.
Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis (August 27, 2015) – By all accounts the first ever OECS Business Solutions Think Tank and Hackathon, held 13 -15 August, spearheaded by the ECCB, Quintessence Consulting and eCaribbean Ltd, was a success.
After less than 48 hours of brainstorming, idea formulation and coding with guidance from mentors representing the top echelons of the OECS private and public sector IT community, the eleven teams comprising IT students, teachers, and other IT technocrats as well as entrepreneurs and thought leaders from across the eight countries of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) demoed their prototype applications to a panel consisting of 13 judges from the ECCU.
The judges evaluated the prototypes against four categories:
First prize went to DigiCrops, Montserrat. The team amassed a total of 179 points.
Digicrops is an online marketplace for farmers to sell their goods to buyers. Farmers can take a picture of their produce insert the required info and then it will be viewed by buyers who can purchase the produce.
The objective is to simplify the process of selling vegetables and other crops in the Caribbean by connecting farmers directly to buyers. The data analysis and other statistical support that will be provided to farmers to create added value that has the potential to enhance the planning and competiveness of farmers who use the app.
The team is comprised of 5 members: Dr. Samuel Joseph; Manish Valechha; Jhovan Daniel; Dexter Small and Enver Browne and Mentors: Francois Sharmaine and Felicia Linch.
The team will be awarded with aXCD$3,500 prize fund for the continuing development of their product, provided by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank
Second prize went to Clink (Caribbean Link), Antigua and Barbuda. The team amassed a total of 139 points.
Clink is a one stop marketplace for Caribbean businesses and consumers to link up with each other and the wider world.
The application seeks to address the many varying challenges and pressures facing SMEs (small and medium enterprises) within the OECS and across the wider Caribbean, particularly inter-island trade.
The team is comprised of 6 members: Elijah James, Julianne Jarvis, Rawle Punter, Dirk Agard, Garrick Stevens and St. Claire Henry and Mentor: Telojo ‘Telly’ Valerie Onu.
The team will be awarded with a XCD$2,500 prize fund for the continuing development of their product, provided by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.
Third prize went to EdConnector.ai, Anguilla. The team amassed a total of 138 points.
EdConnector.ai is a mobile chat application that allows teachers to engage in direct dialogue with the parents of their students. Teachers can update parents on the learning progress of their student children, identify areas requiring improvement and notify parents of any issues related to the child’s academic life at the school.
The team is comprised of 6 members: Rebecca Haskins, Danielle Henry, Khonn Hazell- Fleming, Kenvis Gumbs, Jose Vanterpool and Christoph Pradel andMentor: Ardin Richardson.
The team will be awarded with a XCD$1,000 prize fund or the continuing development of their product, provided by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.
In addition to the prize awards, the ECCB, Quintessence Consulting and eCaribbean Ltd. will work with the mentors and judges to provide support to all the eleven teams to catalyse the development of their prototype applications into viable products. The event organisers will also serve as catalysts to support the formation of an e-forum for the participants and encourage their participation in other hackathons outside of the OECS region. These initiatives are expected to support and nurture participants’ prowess in application development.
The prize giving ceremony will take place at the end of September 2015.
Commonwealth of Dominica
St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
About the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB)
To maintain the stability of the EC dollar and the integrity of the banking system in order to facilitate the balanced growth and development of member states.
The Bank aspires to be:
Quintessence Consulting Inc.
Quintessence Consulting Inc. also operating under the brand Diginnovate, is a global strategic, transaction advisory and innovative management consulting services and venture advisory firm focused on providing strategic business, transformation operations, and technology, outsourcing and capital solutions for its clients in order to capitalize on their unrealized and true market value.
e-Caribbean Limited is a media development and management company with over seven years’ experience in the interactive and creative media industry. While we provide a number of solutions, our primary offerings entail web site development, web hosting, management and marketing.
Mr. Russel Williams
Mr. Russel Williams, Consultant, IT Facility is an IT Professional and Consultant for more than 20 years and a business owner since 1998 in developed and developing markets.
For more information please visit us on:
Twitter – #oecsthinktank #innovatethenext
Hackathon Portal : http://oecsthinktankhackathon.devpost.com/
UWI Consulting supports the idea that Caribbean firms must build capacity and increase efficiency to compete with companies of various sizes across the globe.
We have worked with projects in sectors such as agriculture, creative industries, education and justice to ensure performance and increase competitiveness to influence a greater level of social inclusion and wealth creation.
Limited resources often lead to more creativity and closer management of funds allocated for projects.
Effective Monitoring and Evaluation ensures that projects implemented achieve the desired results with maximum efficiency, efficacy and effectiveness. In this regard organisations are encouraged to use such monitoring and evaluation services that conform to global standards and which are conducted by experienced professionals.
UWI Consulting (UWIC) Consultants know the Caribbean intimately and can provide practical solutions to complex issues affecting Caribbean people and nations.
UWIC has immediate access to specialised knowledge across UWI’s three physical campuses in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and also 42 ‘Open-Campus’ centres serving 16 countries across the English-Speaking Caribbean and therefore has the ability to harness high quality consultants and professionals to deliver tailor-made strategies to our clients.
Additionally it uses its consortia of agreements to access expertise of professionals and other consulting firms from around the world, thereby leveraging global perspective to its service offering.
UWIC has strong global and regional partnerships and as such we work with a diverse community of consultants and trust our partners for referrals where the skill-set for specific project is not immediately available through our database.
We support our consultants with high calibre research assistants drawn from within and outside the university.
Whether Caribbean, North America or Europe we match our consultants appropriately with the areas of expertise.