Caribbean Startups Bring The Heat
With the world being more connected than ever, the Caribbean region is at a point in history where it can truly lead, share, connect and inspire millennials and young entrepreneurs if they fancy building their future in the tropics🌴. Based on the current trends in the growth of the Startup Ecosystem in the Caribbean, we expect to see more startups in industries such as Travel, FinTech, and Internet of Things. Here are a few startups that are making waves in the Caribbean, pun intended.🙂
YoTeLlevo, which translates to “I will take you” from Spanish, is a Cuban based, Uber-like transportation service app for visitors and inhabitants of Cuba. Unlike Uber, the platform connects users with drivers, to arrange your travel via e-mail, prior to arrival on the island. You can also get quotes from 3 different drivers and pick the one you prefer🤠. This could be your first encounter with a Cubano upon arrival, and your first ride for the day. Pretty sweet right?
Winner of the of PitchIT Caribbean in 2016, which has led them to 8000+ signups, Wanderscape has expanded their presence to 6 destinations in the Caribbean. Definitely a mobile travel app to keep an eye on. This startup, founded in Trinidad and Tobago in 2014, helps visitors to discover the given destination through the eyes of a local🕵🏽. Locals can earn money while becoming ambassadors of their culture. The social aspect of this app is that you can create escape-lists of your favorite experiences and plan escapes with your buddies. Oh, and have you checked out their dreamy Instagram account?😍
B for Barbados, or Bitcoin? Barbados startup Bitt, who managed to score an investment worth US$ 16 million last year, is revolutionizing the current economic landscape in the Caribbean. With full support from the government of Barbados and a multi-billion dollar backed investor, they aim to digitize every fiat currency in the Caribbean and place them on the blockchain. The company claims to be the first Caribbean fin-tech startup of its kind that has this much approval from international investors🌍.
A mobile platform based on a single currency that can easily be used by anyone across the Caribbean? Sounds like a dream! Caricoin Ltd, founded in 2015 in Kingston, Jamaica,🇯🇲 is focused on giving local merchants instant access to an online platform to collect payment for their goods and services. Together with the Bank of Jamaica, they aim to integrate bitcoin and blockchain technology into the local banking infrastructure. This has long been one of the goals of CARICOM (Caribbean Single Market and Economy ) and its potential for transforming the region’s economy is positively astounding.
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) has been emerging over the past several years, and is likely to take off in the next two to three years, but is the Caribbean ready for it?
Node420 is an Internet of Things solution for the Agricultural sector founded in Jamaica. This application includes hardware, which provides real-time updates to farmers on the status of their crops. This system, as a result, can predict weather analysis for more accurate weather forecasts. Node420s system also provides recommendations per crop as to its optimal growing conditions and can be used to detect pests and diseases🐜. The startup also recently won the first Agrihack Talent Caribbean competition.
The Caribbean has become more than just the perfect getaway destination. These startups mentioned are just a few to prove that the region is transforming into a hub of technological innovation. So watch out Silicon Valley, the next big thing might pop up from the tropics!👀🌴