OECS TECHIE Pitch Event - Boosting Innovation
OECS Media Release
Tuesday, July 19, 2022 — Six OECS entrepreneurs have emerged winners of the OECS Technology Competitiveness Hub for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (TECHIE) Pitch Competition!
The competition also featured an award ceremony which culminated the six-month-long incubator and accelerator program for forty-three (43) OECS Entrepreneurs. The pitch competition saw 24 of those entrepreneurs competing in the preliminary stage. The final of the competition featured the top six finalists from the preliminary stage who had the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to a regional panel of leading experts and entrepreneurs. The six winners of the pitch competition will receive small grant awards along with technical support to implement their business plans.
The OECS TECHIE programme is funded by the Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility and is being implemented by GBest Company Limited from Trinidad and Tobago. Participants in the incubator and accelerator programme benefited from training, mentorship, coaching, and networking opportunities over the six-month period.
The 43 participants were selected through a rigorous evaluation of 163 applications received in November 2021. The programme is being implemented in the six independent OECS Member States namely, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
While the programme targets technology-based entrepreneurs, the participants operate in various sectors such as manufacturing, tourism, health, and wellness, agriculture/agro-processing and creative industries.
The objective of the programme is to strengthen the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems of the six Member States participating in the project. Overall, the incubator and accelerator programmes are expected to support at least 80 OECS entrepreneurs over 18 months.
The second cohort began in May 2022 and is currently being implemented with 45 entrepreneurs who were selected from 186 applications received from OECS Member States.
The ecosystem development project also features a financial technology component that seeks to increase the uptake of digital financial payment solutions among MSMEs in the region. The technology adoption component began in June 2022 will provide training and technical assistance to Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the area of financial technology.
About Compete Caribbean
Compete Caribbean is a private sector development program that provides technical assistance to support productive development policies, business climate reforms, clustering initiatives and technology and innovation in Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SME) in the Caribbean region. The program, jointly funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Government of Canada, supports projects in 13 Caribbean countries