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Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States


First Caribbean Start Up Accelerator was selected for the inaugural, Summer 2016 Batch, for The First Caribbean Startup Digital Accelerator  held by – The Home of the Caribbean’s Startup Ecosystem.

As the founder of, I joined 422 other entrepreneurs, and together, we represented the 105 companies selected for the Summer 2016 Cohort. The Accelerator took place July, 11th through July 13th, 2016, and  included a 2-day startup development program, followed by a virtual demo day for 10 selected companies.

Top 10 Startups Selected for
Demo Day (Summer 2016)
  1. (Jamaica) Water efficiency for the future.
  2. (Trinidad) Curated box of local foods delivered to your door!
  3. (St.Lucia) Farming made simple.
  4. (Trinidad) Disrupting digital support for local businesses.
  5. (Antigua) The google maps of the Caribbean
  6. (Haiti) Destined to become the amazon of Haiti-#1 e-commerce for the country.
  7. (Jamaica) Transforming the face of entertainment in the Caribbean.
  8. (Montserrat) Centralized hub for tourism and travel within the Caribbean.
  9. (Jamaica) The leading blog site for anything Caribbean.
  10. (Guyana) Changing how we eat, one produce at a time.

The top ten selected startups had the opportunity to pitch their respective businesses, virtually, to Demo Day Judges: Sandra Glasgow, Founder and Managing Director of Biztactics Limited  and Founding Member of Jamaica’s First Angel Investors Network; Varelie Croes, Founder of the Liv Group and Co-Founder of ATECH; Robby Bitting, Managing Director of Marketing at Mass Challenge Boston; and Vanessa Alexandra Pestritto is Partner at Lattice Ventures.

Top 3 Startups Selected for
Caribbean Digital Accelerator (Summer 2016)

First Place: (Jamaica) Water efficiency for the future.

Second Place: (Guyana) Changing how we eat, one produce at a time.

Third Place: (Haiti) Destined to become the Amazon of Haiti-  #1 e-commerce for the country.

Each of the top 3 startups selected from the demo day presentations each won $3,000 in prizes to help propel the business forward!

My own experience during  the‘s Caribbean Digital Accelerator was an exciting and informative one, that has provided me with even more knowledge to pursue the vision of empowering Caribbean Millennials to do better with money. Even more so, I have gained access to a community of driven Caribbean entrepreneurs, who will, no doubt, be making massive impacts in tech and business within the Caribbean region and beyond.

You Can Apply Too!

If you are a Caribbean startup or entrepreneur, is accepting applications for their Fall Caribbean Digital Accelerator which are due October 5th, 2016. Get more information on applying here: Free Digital Accelerator Fall 2016 

Featured – Melisa Boutin on CBC National News: RBC fee hikes in the Caribbean

Melisa Boutin CBC National News Canada Royal Bank Fee Hike Caribbean

If you live in the Eastern Caribbean you are familiar with the recent roll out of a $25 XCD (~$9 USD) fee for savings account at Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Branches. Well, Caribbean people were having none of it and there was a wave of protests and a rush to close savings accounts at RBC Branches throughout the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union states, with people waiting in line for up more than 4 hours.

Sophia Harris of CBC National News recently spoke with me about why RBC’s Caribbean customers were so upset with the introduction of the new fees, to the point of protests.

Related Post: Caribbean Banks: When Raising Your Fees, You Can Do Better

I shared that:

  1. Customers were not adequately notified.
  2. Going from $0 to a $25 XCD fee was too steep of an increase.
  3. Royal Bank of Canada did not give enough consideration to customers when implementing the fees.

Sophia also shares the responses she received from Royal Bank of Canada.

You can read the full article here: Royal Bank sparks backlash with fee hike in the Caribbean

Were you one of the customers affected by the new fees? What do you think of the way Royal Bank of Canda rolled out the fee and the amount of notification given? Let me know in the comments below!