Is the tech innovation scene still alive and kicking in the Caribbean?

In the aftermath of the recently held OECS think tank and hackathon, the opportunity is taken to reflect on the tech innovation scene in the Caribbean.

Earlier this month, 13—15 August to be exact, a Business Solutions Think Tank and Hackathon were held in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) – a group of eight countries comprising Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Commonwealth Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. This event, which was organized by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, Quintessence Consulting Limited, and e-Caribbean Limited, sought to bring

The event, which had over 100 attendees, and had 11 prototypes submitted by 11 teams in the hackathon, has been deemed a resounding success. However, over the past year or so, the number of and software application development and tech innovation-related competitions across the Caribbean seemed to have dwindled. Hence the question is being asked: is the tech innovation scene truly alive and kicking in the Caribbean?

The answer might not be clear cut

At this juncture, the answer might be a soft “Yes”.  In the first instance, there are still several competitions – such as Digital Jam (Jamaica and Haiti); Startup Weekend (Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago); iCreate (region-wide); and the Caribbean Mobile Innovation Program (region-wide) to name a few – but they do not appear to be as plentiful as they had been, where competitions were even being held across primary and secondary schools. However, those that have remained and are popular, have been around for a few years, and so in their own way have been consistently nurturing talent in the region.  More