The Caribbean Innovation Competition (CIC) is an international entrepreneur competition and business start-up accelerator for young people in the CARICOM Member and Associate States. The CIC differentiates itself from other existing business competitions by incorporating “before and after“ stages, focusing on training and mentoring as preparation for the competition, and providing follow up services that include access to finance, networking activities, visibility and promotion opportunities.
The CIC started in 2012 as a part of the Youth-IN Initiative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Barbados and the OECS, designed and implemented, since its creation, by the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT), an International organization that promotes economic and social development of young people through entrepreneurship, innovation, leadership and active participation. YABT works in collaboration with the Organization of American States (OAS) registered as a 501 c 3 non-profit in the District of Columbia.
The CIC follows the hemispheric model of the Talent and Innovation Competition of the Americas (TIC Americas), created in 2007 and operating in a yearly basis. In 2015, in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and The University of the West Indies, the CIC operated as part of the Caribbean Regional Entrepreneurial Asset Commercialization Hub (REACH).
Since its inception, the CIC has had an exclusive and special focus of creating support networks for entrepreneurs in the Caribbean, the 2018 edition, supported by the World Bank, took place, for the first time, as part of the VIII Summit of the Americas youth-focused events: the V Young Americas Forum http://www.yabt.net/foro/en/.
To date, the CIC has supported the creation of 1182 business proposals in 20 countries involving 1373 entrepreneurs.
CIC participants and finalists benefit from the program through of access to:
• Business network
• Content and knowledge
• Development markets
• Finance sources and angel investors
• International visibility and recognition
• Mentors and technical support
The program relies on a collaborative, regional support network of national partner institutions and stakeholders that have been supporting the CIC efforts from its beginning. This network is confirmed by over 150 collaborators that include Governments, National Ministries, NGO’s, private and public sector institutions, universities and young people in the countries participating.