I get a lot of emails, calls and have meetings every week with entrepreneurs, investors, mentors across the Caribbean Startup Ecosystem and the Diaspora. There is alot of activity going on and we all should be excited it about it. Having kick started the Jamaican Tech Startup Community back in 2007 with Kingston BETA and been involved in the developments of the Caribbean Startup Ecosystem with our community meetups, conferences, regional hackathons and workshops – we have seen ALOT and yep- I am happy to be seeing the developments by government, corporate, and international investors.
Building on the work led by localised tech community builders, early startup success stories, the Caribbean can be said to be still nascent – but it’s even more awake and lot of prep work is being done to fill the pipeline with entrepreneurs with even better startup ideas. Based on where I’ve been seeing things trend since late last year and what I know so far as to what is planned for this year – the Caribbean Startup Ecosystem is growing up.
So here’s what I know and can share right now, it’s a quick snapshot.
Government Accelerator Programme Startup Jamaica
- Finally Gets New CEO – Mark Hugh-Sam
- Partners with Oakland California-based software-centric Accelerator DevLabs and starts to tour the Caribbean to do Bootcamps in under-served and super nascent markets such as Barbados to build on the numbers of future accelerator cohorts.
Caribbean Mobile Innovation Programme ( CMIP)
- Launched PitchIT Caribbean Pre-Accelerator Training Program in January.
- Business and Technical training across CARICOM – February – April
- Hackathons – 1 hackathon per hub territory between February and May
- PitchIt Caribbean Challenge – May (Montego Bay)
Development Bank of Jamaica ( DBJ)
- Brings forward their annual Venture Capital Conference. It will be held on March 7-9th, 2016.
- Fantastic SPeakers to not miss – Keynote Speaker Chinedu Echeruo, Serial Tech Entrepreneur and Marlon Nichols of Cross Culture VC. Both Black, Super Successful, know the game – The first is African the latter is Jamaican. Both great speakers.
- Slashroots which designs digital services and tools to transform the relationship between Caribbean governments and citizens. In association with University of the West Indies Mona School of Business – Slashroots will stage its 4th annual Developing the Caribbean (DevCa) Open Data Conference and Regional Hackathon first Week of April.
- The biannual Festival is slated for March 12 and 13, 2016 in Kingston, Jamaica
Prohaus Group rebrands and launches Private Venture Network for Social Innovation and targets the Caribbean
- One of the Partners is Caribbean – Kittian Entrepreneur and W0rld Bank Entrepreneurship Facilitator and Trainer – Telly V. Onu
It’s billed as the first network of destination accelerators, hackathons, and innovation challenges for the Caribbean region. Done in St Kitts and hosted by Prohaus, the flagship all-inclusive program includes 4-6 weeks of accommodation in luxurious, secluded villas across the beautiful Caribbean islands. It seems to be a Caribbean Feeder Programme and product of Prohaus Group.
- Launches Project Calico which is the Caribbean’s First Feeder Programme to the Google Summer of Code in association with the University of the West Indies.
The race to build and get close to and help create the pipeline of even Caribbean Startup Ideas Intensifies and I love it.
Include you in the next round up? Please shoot me an email at email@example.com