This feature is an outcome of infoDev, a multi-donor program administered by the World Bank Group, with a focus on entrepreneurs in developing economies. This piece was originally published on September 27, 2018.
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Sept. 25, 2017 — Three teams from Jamaica copped the top spots in the recently held virtual PitchIT Caribbean SLUSH GIA competition. They are now lined up for a coveted interview spot with the Slush 2017 Global Impact Accelerator program panel in Finland
The successful teams are Link Your Purpose, an online career development and mentoring platform; First Responders Technology Ltd, a mobile platform to enable emergency response services; and Braata Box & Co., an online marketplace for local craftspeople, makers, and artisans. The teams were selected from a field of over 40 entries from across CARICOM.
If successful, the entrepreneurs will be awarded an all-expenses-paid trip to the world-renowned Slush Global Impact Accelerator from Nov. 22–Dec. 2 in Helsinki, Finland. There they will participate in online pre-event coaching and the Helsinki boot camp program which culminates in Slush.
Slush Global Impact Accelerator is a program created in collaboration with Finland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other multiple global partners. It supports impact start-ups and showcases exciting business opportunities in emerging markets and promotes the solving of complex challenges. It also brings impact-driven entrepreneurs from emerging markets to Helsinki to accelerate their business, attract additional financing and build long-lasting networks.
Slush is Europe’s leading start-up and technology event, which connects start-ups and tech talent with top-tier international investors, executives, and media. At Slush the teams will be seeking partnerships, funding, and perhaps even buyers for their enterprises. They will also pitch to a panel of judges and an audience of regional and global leaders in tech and business.
Lanisia Rhoden, chairman and founder of Link Your Purpose, remarked, “I am elated to be selected as one of the three winners who will represent the Caribbean at SLUSH GIA in Finland. SLUSH is a dynamic event that brings together 17,500 attendees and over 2,000 start-ups from 124 countries. I am humbled.”
PitchIT Caribbean is a programme aimed at enhancing the mobile app development ecosystem across CARICOM. It is designed by infoDev (The World Bank Group) as part of its Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC) funded by Canada.
Commenting on the competition, EPIC’s programme coordinator, Sophia Muradyan, said, “once again we are encouraged with the level of interest in the programme, the competitive spirit of the entrants and the great ideas for solutions they develop to help solve some of the region’s pressing and complex issues.”
Mr. Walter Bernyk, Deputy Director of the Caribbean Regional Program at the Canadian High Commission, stated, “if we can provide economic growth via these programmes this would help to create a secure and predictable environment that will attract investors.”
The competition which was held at the World Bank was judged by Saffrey Brown, General Manager of JN Foundation, Ian Neita, Group CEO of Yello Media Group and Ingrid Riley, Chairman of Start Up Jamaica.
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.