Avryl Francis, Che-Andre Gordon and Rasheed Andrews are the members of a group of third year students from the University of Technology, (UTech), who won the PitchITCaribbean challenge and CodeSprint for designing a tourism-based mobile application, called iTechHotel, in just 24-hours between May 23 and 24, 2015. For their efforts, they bagged an automatic entry to the World Bank Group/infoDev’s Government of Canada funded Caribbean Mobile Innovation Project’s (CMIP) upcoming PitchITCaribbean Startup Challenge Pitch Event.
The CodeSprint, which was a collaboration with StartUp Jamaica, was held at the Musson Foundation e-Learning Lounge in Kingston and had five Jamaican teams along with three virtual teams, one each, from Barbados, Dominica and St. Kitts & Nevis hacking out mobile applications to solve problems in agriculture, energy management and tourism.
“This was a tremendous success,” declared Robert Whitehorne, project manager for the CMIP.
“For the first time in the staging of hackathons, we were able to have teams from other countries – namely Barbados, Dominica and St. Kitts & Nevis – participate for the 24-hours, tackling the same challenges as those in Jamaica. In the end they made their presentations via video conferencing and proposed some compelling solutions,” he added.
The team from St. Kitts & Nevis, led by ICT professional, Telojo Onu, proposed Nuh TekkUp – an app for farmers to report praedial larceny in real time – and was named the Top Virtual team. Shannon Clarke, a one-man team from Barbados, proposed a medical tourism app, which allows visitors to find medical services quickly while they are on a visit to the region. His app was specially recognised as having a strong potential for development.
Outlining the challenges across the sectors were economics professor, Claremont Kirton, who has done decades of research in agriculture; Andrea Atkinson-Perry, Group IT Director of the Hendrickson group – which operates a chain of hotels including the Pegasus and Holiday Inn – sharing pain points on tourism, while Gina Tomlinson-Williams, head of customer service at JPS, identified opportunities in energy management for the entrepreneurs to take on.
Following a 5-week competition and rigorous selection process, Accelerate Caribbean is excited to announce ten business enablers from 7 islands in the Caribbean that will participate in its Business Incubation Clinic during 2015-2016.
Infodev’s Business Incubation Specialist, Sophia Muradyan, has expressed hearty congratulations to the selectees and thanks all who participated. “We received nearly 50 applications from all 14 CARICOM countries, from, among other areas, ICT and mobile technology, climate change (Green Tech), and sustainable development, but what was very encouraging is that several applications came from women-entrepreneur-focused incubators!” Muradyan said.
Using criteria such as an organization’s past experience and strategic vision, an expert panel shortlisted 18 enablers focused on high growth entrepreneurs. Following a comprehensive interview process, 10 were selected.
All selected participants have been paired with an international business mentor, who will be their one-on-one coach throughout the 12-month program, which kicks off with 2-day Business Incubation Management training in Bridgetown, Barbados on June 8th, followed by an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development workshop. A total of four such Business Incubation Management training sessions and workshops will take place across the region in 2015-2016 and are open to a broader audience of incubation practitioners.
As the program progresses, participants will be exposed to new models and best practices of accelerating early-stage enterprises, participate in peer-to-peer learning sessions and tailored networking opportunities and an international study tour, one of the highlights of the clinic.
Accelerate Caribbean is designed by infoDev (The World Bank Group) as part of its Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC). EPIC is a seven-year program funded by the Government of Canada that seeks to build an enabling ecosystem to strengthen entrepreneurship and boost job creation across the region. The project is implemented by IMC Worldwide Ltd (IMC) in partnership with KoltaiCo, UWI Consulting, and BCSI.
The Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in partner with UWI Consulting Inc. wish to share with you a recently published report on the topic of Trade, Climate Change and environment challenges and opportunities in the Caribbean region. The report provides an overview of the linkages between trade policy, climate change and environmental sustainability within the context of the Caribbean region:
“The impacts of climate change (CC) are those which may have influenced not only the ecology of the Caribbean, but also its economic and trading activities. In this regard, climate change can impact on the efficiency of domestic production as well as international competitiveness. In efforts to adapt and mitigate climate change related problems, additional stress may be placed on, or deplete available natural resources. The Caribbean’s contribution to this phenomenon has been minimal however. Characterised by concentrated economies as well as fragile terrestrial and maritime ecosystems, unsustainable actions have had an impact on degrading the region’s environment (Edwin Laurent, 2013)… This is examined through various areas identified such as international transport and tourism, trade policy and the green agenda, economic diversification as well as sustainable energy.”
A Consortium comprising UWI Consulting Inc., B&S Europe (Lead) and Particip GmbH has been awarded the contract to provide project management support and build the capacity of the Ministries of National Security and Justice, and to support INDECOM to ensure the efficient implementation of the Justice Security, Accountability and Transparency (JSAT) Project.
The overall objective of the project is to improve the standard of living and quality of life of Jamaican citizens by strengthening governance and oversight, with particular regard to the functioning of the security and justice systems.
The Project officially commenced on January 26, 2015, with the arrival of Team Leader/Project Manager, Mr. Paul Leclercq. Mr. Damien Bruel, the Procurement Expert, joined the Team on February 16, 2015.
The JSAT Project is being financed through grant-funding provided by the European Union, and the Planning Institute of Jamaica is the National Authorising Office (NAO) managing the Project’s execution.
The programme is aimed at making great business enablers even greater, through a tailored package of training and mentorship.
Business enablers, as is used within this context, refer to existing organizations or new consortia of organizations which provide entrepreneurs and start-ups with various types of support and motivation. This support might take the form of training; seed capital; professional advisory services; technology and workspace; or events and networking opportunities.
Accelerate Caribbean will soon be launching a 12-month Business Incubation Clinic for 10 enablers competitively selected from across the region. The clinic will match each enabler with an internationally renowned entrepreneurship mentor who will provide bi-weekly, one-on-one coaching and advice, in addition to the opportunity to benefit from infoDev’s Business Incubation Management Training Program.
Mentoring will take place both face-to-face and virtually. In addition to a tailored support program, each enabler will also take part in mentor-led online workshops for all clinic participants. This will bring like-minded enablers from the region together and support peer-to-peer learning and networking opportunities for all the selected enablers.