The ever-expanding world of start-ups and entrepreneurship is coming to St. Lucia later this month and this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) is set to be the biggest yet.
Under the guidance of SLUDTERA founder Michelle Samuel and her team of YLAI fellows, we will see the official launch of Startup Huddle St. Lucia on November 13, as well as the hosting of Startup Huddle’s Pitch Presentations and the Organisers’ Forum on November 14. The events will be graced by the presence of none other than Shark Tank winner and St. Lucia’s own Joshua Esnard.
Not to be outdone, Johanan Dujon of Algas Organics and Samuel Lubin of KL Productions, will both present their startups on Day 2 of the activity. Special Guest Speaker Teige La Borde will also give an address on that day; all under the theme: We Support Youth Unleashing Ideas.
Michelle Samuel sat with the Voice to speak about the Global Entrepreneurship Network’s (GEN) Startup Huddle launch and other events, as part of St. Lucia’s GEW activities. After informing us that her organisation has partnered with the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce to host the two-day activity, which “starts with our launch on the 13th of November at the Bay Gardens Hotel.”; she said that the November 13th activity is not opened to the public but “is opened to specific persons, invitees only.”
The event on the 13th will be divided into two parts. The Official Launch will take place from 6:30 pm to 7:20pm followed by the meet and greet from 7:30pm onward.
She added that the invitees would “have to RSVP for that event [which] will feature special guest speakers from Barbados and also from St. Lucia.”
The star attraction on the night is most definitely The Cut Bunny CEO, Joshua Esnard. “We have our celebrity guest panellist who will be also speaking as well; that’s Mr Joshua Esnard. He’s known as the inventor and CEO of the Cut Bunny as seen on Shark Tank.” Samuel told the Voice.
Also speaking on that day via a conference call, is Gregory Skeete from Barbados.
On the following day, Johanan Dujon and Samuel Lubin will both “present their startups to an audience of young persons, peers and business persons and also to the expert panel.” Samuel stated; which will be the Pitch Presentations portion of the week’s activities.
Dujon and Lubin will “both present for six minutes, followed by ten minutes of Q&A with the panel and ten minutes of Q&A with the audience, where those persons attending will actually get to question the entrepreneurs about their business ventures and where they see them moving forward.” Samuel explained.
The November 14th Pitch Presentations will take place from 9:30am to 11:00am at the Blue Coral Mall 3rd Floor Conference Room.
On the same day, special guest speaker Teige La Borde, who Samuel described as “a very young, talented event designer and planner”, will be “addressing the young persons and the entrepreneurs on youth entrepreneurship and the journey that it takes, from the start to where she is now.”
But it doesn’t end there. As Samuel describes; “The event culminates with the Organisers’ Forum, which will feature the panel of organisers.” That will take place from 2:30pm to 3:30pm also at the Blue Coral Mall 3rd Floor Conference Room.
The panel, featuring Joshua Esnard, also includes Avena Prince and Eber Ravariere from Dominica, Michelle N. Samuel, Christy S. N. Butcher and Giesele Dolcy from St. Lucia, Vanetta Phillip from Trinidad and Tobago and Marie Lestel Kelly from Nicaragua.
Samuel told the Voice that the panellists “will all sit along with the entrepreneurs who presented in the morning, to discuss the theme and also their ventures and give more details as to how they will participate moving forward in the programme and to helping persons who participate.”
The second day event at the Blue Coral Mall is opened to the public. “They’re welcome to come in and sit and to ask questions and to also join in the discussion.” Samuel noted.
SLUDTERA’s founder also noted that “The Startup Huddle programme is actually a chapter that was created by the Global Entrepreneurship Network and this chapter is launching in St. Lucia, which is one of the newest chapters in the Caribbean, so we are [breaking] the mould with the launching of those chapters in the Caribbean and Latin America. After the successful launch of the chapter here in St. Lucia, we will be launching in the respective islands/countries of Dominica, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and Nicaragua respectively.”
Samuel described the initiative as “a collaborative effort of fellows who have participated in the YLAI Programme, which is a fully funded state programme for young persons between the ages of 25-35 years. We all make up members of the YLAI Network and some of us are actually members of the YLAI alumni.”