Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 15, 2019 (SKNIS): Clean Tech Entrepreneurs are being encouraged to attend a three-day Caribbean Green Tech Start-up Bootcamp, from March 19 to 21, at the St. Kitts and Nevis Customs and Excise Department, to access basic business education, mentorship and finance in order to further develop their green sector businesses.
Caribbean Green Tech Start-up Bootcamp is an avenue to assist entrepreneurs to have clean tech solutions that can assist in the mitigation or adaptation to climate change. It was started in 2015. Tameka Lee of the Caribbean Climate Innovation Centre (CCIC), who is also the Programme Director of the Bootcamp, stated that Clean Tech Entrepreneurs face challenges in the green sector in terms of assistance and support in building out their businesses. There have been 13 bootcamps so far across the Caribbean.
“Because Clean Tech is a relatively new phenomenon, we don’t have the entrepreneurial support that other entrepreneurs can get,” she said. “This is why it is important for us at the CCIC to collaborate with other entities to help buildout the ecosystem so that all those entrepreneurs with solutions in this green sector can have that entrepreneurial support that they need. Whether it’s access to finance, mentorship, guidance, any technical assistance, they can have all of those opportunities and access through us helping to build out the ecosystem.”
At the end of the Bootcamp entrepreneurs should be able to have business models, which can even be taken to the commercialization stage.
“So they can have a product or refined service at the end and even if it’s not refined, definitely afterwards they will be getting further assistance from the Ministry of International Trade,” said the programme director.
She explained that the Bootcamp is just the first step. There will also be an Accelerator Programme which entrepreneurs can enter into where they will receive a more advanced business education, access to finance, access to markets, access to the CCIC network, mentorship support and more for one year.
“We just don’t have the Bootcamp and leave the entrepreneurs. We hold their hands throughout and assist them to get to the commercialization stage.
Before the Bootcamp, there will be an idea generation session on March 18, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Customs and Excise Department, where green sector experts will have a panel discussion on some of the challenges that affect the sector as it relates to climate change in the Caribbean.
“Attendees can get market intelligence data as to what businesses they can start in terms of climate change and what are the market gaps in terms of climate technologies that are needed in the Caribbean,” said Ms. Lee.
The Caribbean Green Tech Start-up Bootcamp is free to sign up. Tools, T-shirts, certificates of participation at the end of the Bootcamp and access to mentors will be given free. At the end, there will be a pitch competition. The winner will receive US$1000, second place, US$500 and third place, US$250.
Registration is still open and will be closed on March 15. Interested persons can contact Trade Policy Officer, Desiree Huggins at 467-1425.