Published On: Wed, Sep 5th, 2018

Ching winner of Present Your Startup Caribbean

ChingHAARLEM, WILLEMSTAD - Ching of the British Virgin Islands (BVI), represented by Chad Lettsome, was named the best start-up in the second edition of Present Your Startup Caribbean which took place in Curaçao on August 29. Green Phenix/Sea Turtle Conservation Curaçao represented by Sabine Berendse won the public choice award.

Out of 40 applicants, 15 start-ups from Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, St. Maarten, Anguilla, St. Eustatius and the BVI took part in the pre-finals in Curaçao in May. Five start-ups made it to the finals held at the Cinemark Sambil on August 29.

The other proud finalists were Sageroots (BVI), Fresh Habits (Curaçao) and Flying Fish (Bonaire). Jay Collado of Flying Fish announced his partnership with Curaçao-based company Damen for a sustainable shipping project.

A panel of investors and experts chose Lettsome as the winner of Present Your Startup Caribbean 2018. Ching presents a fin-tech solution for the Caribbean which helps small entrepreneurs with an app that scans credit cards and makes it possible for the user to pay with a signature. Many local entrepreneurs do not have the equipment to accept credit card payments. The app of Lettsome’s company Ching is already being used in the BVI and Jamaica.

Lettsome will get a spot in the finals of Present Your Startup the Netherlands, which will take place in Haarlem on November 28. Lettsome also won NAf. 10,000 and announced his partnership with CX Pay from Curaçao to expand his product to Curaçao.

Public choice award winner Berendse won NAf. 5,000. She already won a spot in the Dutch finals in November because she won the Present Your Startup edition in New York earlier this year.

Berendse started Green Phenix to recycle plastics that have washed ashore in Curaçao and turn them into new products. Together with the Sea Turtle Conservation volunteers, Berendse regularly cleans up the beaches on the island to help protect the environment.

Present Your Startup organised its Caribbean programme in Curaçao for the second time this year. Present Your Startup started in Curaçao a year ago and it became clear that many different innovative start-ups are active on the Caribbean islands.

To create an innovative ecosystem and to help start-ups with their development, initiator Valerie Vallenduuk organised a second successful edition of Present Your Startup Caribbean together with Jildou Steensma.

“Not many people know how much innovation takes place in the Caribbean. With the help of our programme we can give hardworking, innovative entrepreneurs the recognition they deserve,” stated Vallenduuk. The third edition of Present Your Startup is slated to take place in January 2019.

CINEX Director Ramon Koffijberg hosted the finals in Curaçao. CINEX is one of the partners of the Present Your Startup Programme. Other partners were the Curaçao Development Institute (CDI) and the European Union (EU)-funded COSME programme for small and medium-size entrepreneurs.

Present Your Startup was part of the successful Build Back Better St. Maarten event in March 2018 to assist the island’s recovery after the 2017 hurricanes.

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