Startup Weekend In Bahamas a Hit!
Nassau, Bahamas, January 29-31, 2016 – Seven Pitches. Seven Partners. One Weekend. 54 Hours. 14 Innovative Ideas … This was Startup Weekend Nassau!
This inspiring journey began with meaningful and supportive collaboration between Shift the Culture, Techstars, the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, UP Global, Global Shapers Community Nassau, Startup Bahamas, the Inter-American Development Bank and Compete Caribbean.
Fourteen 30 second presentations soon became seven and out of those seven, Ryder, a mobile-based ride-sharing app designed for local transportation, emerged as the overall winner.
Startup Weekend is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities. It is a dynamic forum to share ideas, form teams and launch startups.
Startup weekends are focused on bringing developers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts together to share ideas and launch new startups. Beginning with open pitches on Friday, attendees in dozens of cities hone in on the most promising concepts with teams focusing on customer development, idea validation and creating a viable product. By Sunday evening, teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of experts while competing for prizes that help speed them to launch.
Nassau’s seven finalists were: Ryder, a mobile-based ride-sharing app designed for local transportation; R3new which aims to turn garbage/waste into art and goods to sell; Peak Time which is a social media app for digital binge-watching parties during your favorite TV shows; Swerve, a recreational go-karting facility; VacationView, a tourist destinations site that focuses on locations that offer a more authentic Bahamian experience; Bahamas Spark a Smile, a site with the goal of increasing happiness factor by highlighting favorable random encounters and New Providence City, a fast-paced municipal development catered to technology and lower government regulations. In second and third places were R3new and Peak time. The top three will each receive a free month of ‘Theory Exchange’ co-working Space plus free services by ‘Startup Bahamas’ business services.
Travis Miller, Facilitator of Startup Weekend, Nassau had this to say: “Startup Weekend was a hit! The teams had an amazing time and learned so much on how to execute their ideas. It was an honor to collaborate with each other in this fashion. It was almost surreal being able to collaborate and share ideas within such a creative Bahamian environment at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB). We are so glad that we are finally starting to see the growth of an entrepreneurial community with a Bahamian narrative here in Nassau and we couldn’t have had a more creative and inspiring space in which to work than the NAGB.”
Meanwhile, more than 50 cities around the world are hosting Startup Weekend events. There is currently representation in over 100 cities in over 25 countries for Startup Weekend which is focused on educating over 15,000 entrepreneurs and launching over 560 new startup ventures.
Policy and Institutional Framework for SME Development in the Bahamas
This project is to develop a comprehensive and coherent institutional framework to support Bahamian Small and Medium sized Enterprises, including those in the Family Islands. Through the new institutional framework for SME development and a particular strategy for the productive sector in the Family Islands, the Program seeks to increase productivity in the sectors that represent the majority of firms in the Country. The Program will deliver important products that are stand-alone and do not depend on external factors for success, particularly in-depth information on SMEs and a basis for its permanent review, as well as a program for the FI to act as a driver for overall SME development and sectoral linkages. If the new institutional framework is subsequently implemented, the impact to economic growth and income distribution, particularly regional, would be important as local businesses would increase their contribution to growth and improve overall productivity. This would also help improve the competitiveness of the tourism sector and potentially decrease the need of imported goods and services that could be provided by local firms, which would help in preventing long term external imbalances. The Program is also expected to generate much needed knowledge about barriers that impede women from developing more competitive and productive firms as well as on the impact that business development services, targeted to women or not, can have to improve those firms’ performance.
Identifying Sustainable Agricultural Initiatives in the Caribbean
This project partners with the IDB’s Multilateral Investment Fund to study sustainable agriculture in Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname, The Bahamas and Trinidad and& Tobago. It examines current developments in sustainable agriculture in this country, analyses specific challenges, and identifies opportunities, taking into consideration trade liberalization, food safety, quality and security, rising food prices, the expansion of niche markets, diversification, climate change and environmental sustainability.
Productive Development Policies in the Caribbean
This project analyses the impact of Productive Development Polices in The Bahamas, Belize, and Suriname using the â€œProductive Development Policiesâ€ framework developed by Ricardo Hausmann and a team at Harvard University. It complements similar analyses undertaken by the IDB on Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago that were completed in order to achieve a better understanding of PDPs in the region.