Caribbean Startup Bitt Secures Seed Round USD$1.5 Million in Capital to Bring Digital Currency Financial Services to Emerging Markets

bitcoin1STARTUPS: Founded in 2013 by Gabriel Abed and Oliver Gale, Bitt is a digital asset exchange, remittance channel, and merchant-processing gateway based in Barbados. Bitt, Inc. has partnered with Avatar Capital to expand operations in the growing cryptocurrency industry. This latest partnership has firmly established Bitt as the frontrunner in the Caribbean’s burgeoning cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Powered by AlphaPoint’s state-of-the-art technology designed byveteran Wall Street traders, Bitt’s trading platform is a highlypowerful, user-friendly exchange that allows clients to tradesecurely and seamlessly. Bitt facilitates international Bitcointrading in 11 major fiat currencies, such as the US Dollar (USD),Great Britain Pound (GBP), Canadian Dollar (CAD), Euro (EUR), andBarbadian Dollar (BBD).  More

Caribbean needs to strengthen its Internet infrastructure

internetsign copyInternet Security expert Bill Woodcock speaks at a cyber security workshop at Grenada ICT Week, St Georges last week.Electronic security threats levels are on the rise globally, and the stakes are getting higher.

Kaspersky Lab’s Global IT Risks Report (2014) estimated that, after a data breach, small and medium sized business could spend up to $22,000 on staffing, training, and systems. Larger enterprises could potentially spend up to an additional $59,000 on staffing, $35,000 on training, and $75,000 on systems, the report said.

DevCa 2015 and the Caribbean Open Data Community

trendsOPEN DATA – How does the relationship between citizens and their government change in the age of the internet and online social networks? This is one of the questions that drive our search for knowledge and experiences to share at YoGobierno. One notion (among many others) that establishes a pathway for this change is open government data.

Government data is data and information produced or commissioned by government or government controlled entities.Open data is data that can be freely used, reused and redistributed by anyone – subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and share alike.

Globally, there is a growing community of people who are avid advocates of open data, and open government data specifically. The argument is that by allowing anyone to use government data, more transparency and democratic control can be achieved. People from the government, civil society or private sector would be able to use it to create new and improved products and services, government would be more efficient and citizens more involved.

For this to be achieved, the concepts, requirements, uses and potential impact of open data need to be communicated to citizens and their governments, which is why the open data community is constantly sharing actionable knowledge to implement open data practices around the world. Most recently, for example, on February 21, a global Open Data Day was celebrated in over 220 places. People gathered in conferences, workshops, and meetings of all sizes – organized by civil society, governments, or both – to learn what open data is, what can be achieved with it and how, and to discuss the challenges and roadmaps to follow this year. More

Sun, Sea and Startups – Story of the Jamaica Tech Startup Scene

This keynote presentation made by our Editor Ingrid Riley at the inaugural Black Tech Week in Miami, February 23-28th, 2015 is all about the story of Jamaican Tech Entrepreneurship. While you had to be there to get the full effect of this story, we thought it would be good to publish it as a reference point for many.

Caribbean Crowdfunding #Startup Goes Live!

pitchandchoosecaribbeancrowdfundingPitch&Choose went live with its regional crowdfunding platform. This online fundraising innovation promises to address the challenges of attracting charitable donations using conventional approaches that many non-profits and alumni sssociations in the Caribbean are now experiencing. Pitch&Choose will also host fundraising by individuals who can launch campaigns onwww.pitchandchoose.com to attract funding for their causes and also for social and creative projects and ventures. Crowdfunding, through its reach to a large global community, has the capacity to help overcome the longstanding challenge of insufficient capital available for investment in creative industries and enterprising ventures. More

BLACK TECH WEEK to position South Florida as hub to doing business in Caribbean and Africa

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Black Tech Week

TECH EVENT – Black tech innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors will converge in Miami for the inaugural Black Tech Week from February 23-28, 2015 hosted at Miami Dade College North Campus.

Presented by Miami-based Code Fever, an organization committed to teaching minority youth how to code, create technologies, and become entrepreneurs, Black Tech Week was inspired out of the vision to change the narrative surrounding the Black community and replace it with innovation, creativity, and technology during the last week of Black History Month to stretch the trajectory of the community.

The Founders anticipate that Black Tech Week will accelerate Miami as the U.S. gateway to the Caribbean and the entire African diaspora much like the city has become a gateway to Latin America.

SAVE THE NEW DATE! The Next Kingston BETA is on Thursday March 5th, 2015.

savethenewdatekgnbetaSTARTUPS – The first Kingston BETA event for this year is now confirmed for,  Thursday February 26th, 2015. It’s our 8th year of staging Jamaica and the Caribbean’s first and longest running Tech Meetup + Pitch Off!  So save the date!

Get your pitches ready!

Your fellow tech/startup community members as well as investors are waiting to hear from you. Have a great idea/Startup to pitch?  send your name, brief description to ingrid@connectiMass.com. And have a read of our guidelineshere. We do Skype Video pitches from Caribbean Tech Entrepreneurs in the region and from the US and UK Diaspora as well.

Will you make the next list of Top Caribbean Startups to Watch in 2015 ? #jamaicanstartups#caribbeanstartups

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Cuba’s pending tech revolution

TECH NEWS – Cuba’s entry into the modern high-tech era will require improvements to its electrical grid, a buildout and upgrade of its wireless networks and IT workforce training. This will not be easy, and it may not happen swiftly.

Cuba has an educated population craving technology, but it has little income for new tech. The Cuban government wants to trade with the U.S., but is paranoid about the outside world and has limited Internet access to 5% to 10% of the population, at best.

“The government has been very reluctant to have open Internet access,” said Harley Shaiken, chairman of the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. But “there is real hunger for technology,” and with the easing of the embargo, the government “will be facing new pressures,” he said. More

SiliconCaribe.com’s Top Caribbean Startups to Watch in 2015

trendsThe Caribbean’s Tech Startup Ecosystem started with the first wave of Internet Startups in the mid 90s, inspired by, and at times clones of, the American success stories.

The region had, and in some cases still has, its own eBay (jamdeal.com), Yahoo (top5Jamaica.com), early social networks (caribbeanmassive.com and vibesconnect.com),online dating (caribsingles.com),alumni networks  (ackee.com), its own Search Engine ( is4we.com), Online Ad Network ( caribclix), Car Classifieds             (trinituner.com) and so much more.

It was a time when entrepreneurs bootstrapped, squeezed alot out of DSL Internet speeds, and without the help of accelerators, hubs or incubators, used primarily online advertising and affiliate marketing to make money. Some failed, learned and evolved; some made money, and others sold their websites for major money.

Eastern Caribbean Telecommunication (Ectel) slams Digicel’s ‘interception’

ectel_logoOn Thursday, Digicel issued a news release in which it agreed with the position taken by the telecommunications regulator in the Eastern Caribbean (Ectel) on the acquisition by Cable & Wireless Communications of Columbus International.In the statement, Digicel described as “dismissive statements… constituting an insult to the regulatory authorities and Governments of the Ectel member states; and, particularly, those of Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines” the announcement by CWC and Columbus that regulatory notifications and approvals would be required in the United States, Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad.  

Startuprobot Re-Engineers Company Registration

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Winston Wilkins, CEO of StartUpRobot

At 37, Winston Wilkins, CEO and founder of StartUpRobot (SUR), the company which promises to take the pain out of company registrations, has turned a hobby in IT into a new company. His previous idea – that of taking the pain out of lunch lines – did not quite catch fire, and was turned down by mentor JJ Geewax, angel investor and Google engineer.  But that’s history.