Launching of Caribbean Innovation Competition 2016

September 10, 2015, Bridgetown, Barbados — The Young Americas Business Trust (YABT), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and The University of the West Indies launched the Caribbean Innovation Competition 2015-2016, a regional support programme and startup accelerator for CARICOM nationals seeking to take their Entrepreneurial Initiatives to the Market. The CIC is open to aspiring business owners as part of the Caribbean Regional Entrepreneurial Asset Commercialization Hub (REACH) Programme. The competition will award projects in two Categories: Creative Industries and Technology Management. The CIC was announced on September 10, 2015 with a Media Launch at the OAS Barbados Office from 10:00 am, followed by a youth dialogue at the Small Business Association with entrepreneurs at 2:30 pm.

"The Caribbean Development Bank estimates unemployment rate in the region to be above the average world's  unemployment rate, at the same time, our generations have better-than-ever access to, and knowledge of ICTs; efforts to  generate economic occupational opportunities based on creative industries and technologies, have never been more important than right  now" said Valerie Lorena, Executive Director of YABT, organizers of the CIC, she continues "this programme provides an integral platform for innovative, creative and energetic people to take their Intellectual Entrepreneurial Assets to the market and benefit their communities"

Participants can start registration with a concept idea and prospectus of a name for the company or project. To advance in the competition, registered teams can take advantage of YABT’s online training sessions starting September 24, 2015. These interactive trainings with experts from around the world will be in English, free to participants and will help them complete the components that will be evaluated by an international panel of judges. Deliverables include business plan, graphic presentation and internet presence. The deadline to submit all components is January, 2016.

The CIC teams that will move to the next round will be announced on May, 2016. They will then have one month to prepare their presentations to compete live at the CIC Finals, Expo and Awards Ceremony in June, 2016. Winners will receive an award package that includes: 5,000 USD seed capital, access to investors and resources, follow up services and the unique opportunity to be part of the Leadership Links Network, a platform for young entrepreneurs to be part of global and high levels events receiving wide international visibility.

The Competition goes beyond traditional business plan competitions as it incorporates "before" and "after" stages, focusing on training and mentoring as preparation for submission of deliverables and six month follow up support post announcement of winners. Registration will remain open until December 15th, 2015.

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The Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) is a nonprofit corporation, that works in cooperation with the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) to promote social and economic development among young people in the western hemisphere and around the world. YABT develops and implements programs and activities focused on entrepreneurship. Through these, it looks to improve the quality of life and generate employment opportunities for youth in the Americas, especially those facing poverty. YABT programs have a positive impact on all aspects of the lives of youth.

Since its creation YABT has empowered more than 40,000 young people in 75 countries through programs and activities that enable youth to become productive members of their communities, enhancing accessibility and giving them a voice to act as partners that will contribute in the development of their countries and the region. For more information, please visit

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