The Caribbean Mobile Innovation Project (CMIP) is part of the Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC), executed by a University of the West Indies Consortium consisting of UWI Consulting Inc., Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) and the Mona Business Support Services (MBSS) and is funded by the Government of Canada and executed by InfoDev/World Bank, spanning 14 Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries.
In order to provide services on the ground, UWI Consulting will partner with up to six countries, which will act as mHubs for the local technology communities. Some of these mHubs have already been procured. Together, the mHubs will form a highly collaborative network that is supported and coordinated by the UWI Consortium.
PitchIT Caribbean, under the remit of the Caribbean Mobile Innovation Project (CMIP), is a two-tiered partnership approach to support growth-oriented mobile app businesses in the Caribbean. The programme is designed to strengthen the Caribbean mobile innovation ecosystem and enable sustainable and competitive mobile enterprises to grow through activities that will target early stage innovators and guide them to market readiness. The aim is for the creation of a regional pool of high-growth potential mobile start-ups with the capacity to release their apps to the market and raise additional capital to grow.
PitchIT Caribbean, which is working to identify and nurture the top developers and entrepreneurial teams in the region as well as to cultivate the future talent in the region?s mobile sector, is being implemented in three phases.
From Ideation to Pitch
This phase aims to identify and mobilize the top mobile application developer and entrepreneurial talent in the region and direct the top talent and their mobile products to the annual competition through local and regional activities. The project also aims to spark excitement and interest in mobile innovation in the region and help to develop the skills and knowledge of current and future competitors through:
Training-courses that cover start-up and product development
Prototyping events and bootcamps (i.e. hackathons, startup days)
The annual startup challenge competition for developers and entrepreneurs
From Pitch to Market
This phases focuses on supporting the winners of the competition to launch their products, strengthen their markets share and investment readiness, through:
Seed financing to each of the winning teams
Matching the winning teams from the competition with mentors
Access to selected facilities (when possible)
Networking events between the winning teams and the Caribbean and international mobile innovation ecosystem
Acceleration-type activities, including training (e.g. product development, investment readiness), with the opportunity for the winning teams to pitch at an international event.
From Market to Maturity
This phase focuses on helping the winning teams with gaining access to finance, by:
Assisting them in applying to other financing mechanisms and matching the teams with other potential investors
Maintaining and developing the network of alumni to enable additional opportunities for networking and peer-to-peer learning.