Caribbean entrepreneurs are called to apply for 200 competitive spots in a new business accelerator for business founders, developers and innovators. Regional entrepreneurs will have direct access to a billion-dollar global investor network with the official launch of the Kanoo Innovation Hub on Tuesday evening in the Bahamas.
“We are dedicated to the task of making innovation a cultural transformation in the Caribbean. Global ideas require access to global investors, global customers and global networks. The Kanoo Innovation Hub is a program designed just for us, and we are proud to provide access to Caribbean innovators,” said co-founder Davinia Bain.
Bain said innovators will have the opportunity to build, scale and fund their ideas with guidance from the Hub and its partners. The Kanoo Innovation Hub is a joint venture between leading Caribbean fintech companies Crypto Isle and Kanoo Pays in partnership with Draper University, one of Silicon Valley‘s leading venture capital networks. The Business Accelerator includes three core programs that provide participants with tools, techniques, and funding to lead and innovate next-generation global solutions.
Hub co-founder Nicholas Rees said the first step in the process is to find 200 innovators with the best ideas to enroll in the Startup Innovation Program. Applications are open until November 15. Each step of the progressive process will become more competitive, culminating with 10 Caribbean entrepreneurs guaranteed places at Draper University’s highly competitive immersion experience in Silicon Valley. There, they will showcase a global network of investors and gain access to seed capital of between US$250,000 and US$3 million.
Simplified Lending, a Bahamian financial institution known for its business-friendly lending, is one of the first participating companies to sign up. Corporate innovators can invest in select employees to incubate innovation externally without the weighty drawbacks of corporate inertia.
“Our goal is to find innovative Caribbean founders, developers and businesses and set them up for success. We want to provide funding and mentorship throughout their business evolution from seed cycle to exit “said Rees.
Experienced Business Builders The Hub will bring together seasoned investors, including Draper University, known for its investments in more than 34 unicorn companies and at least six rhino companies.
Asra Nadeem, CEO of Draper University, said, “At Draper University, we recognize the immense potential of Caribbean innovators. Silicon Valley is the main competitor when it comes to technological innovation and blockchain. We look forward to engaging founders, developers, and business innovators from across the region. »
The joint venture partners also have a wealth of experience in building entrepreneurial ecosystems and startups. Bain recently retired from her position as the first Executive Director of the Access Accelerator Small Business Development Center in the Bahamas. She was responsible for overseeing the disbursement of over $70 million BSD to 1,900 clients across 40 industries and 15 islands in the Bahamas. Rees is President and Co-Founder of Kanoo Pays, the world’s first licensed payment institution to achieve secure central bank digital currency (“CBDC”) payment integration, interoperability and processing.
Individuals have until November 15 to apply to be in the Hub whose other partners include WrkFlws, a leading blockchain-based business automation platform. The top candidate in the Startup Innovation program will receive $5,000 in free advice from the CEO of WrkFlws.