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Winners of the 2024 Cayman Islands Business Design Competition Announced

Winners of the 2024 Cayman Islands Business Design Competition Announced

Hunted Offshore takes home the Cayman Islands Business Design Competition’s “Project of the Year”.

George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (22 April 2024) – The 4th annual Cayman Islands Business Design Competition “Pitch Day” took place Saturday, 20 April 2024 at the Vault Compass Center. Six Cayman-born projects competed for USD $17,000 in cash prizes and wraparound business services.

Produced by Enterprise Cayman and sponsored by Cayman Enterprise City (CEC), the annual Business Design Competition invites Cayman’s entrepreneurs to showcase their new and innovative business ideas. This year’s competitors were shortlisted from an impressive cohort of 20 submissions. Programme finalists took part in an intensive series of workshops, project advisor meetings, networking events, and a “Pitch Day” where they presented their finals projects to a panel of judges, which included Rodney Alison Founder of Synergy Technology Engineering Limited SEZC, Rich Dyer Co-Founder of Massive Media, new to the stage this year we had  John Wensveen Chief Innovation Officer & Executive Director of the Alan B. Levan Centre at Nova Southeastern University, Caine Smith Founder & Managing Director of AirVu Media and Keisha Mason 2022 Business Design Competition Creativity Award Winner and 2023 Launch Labs Alumni.

“We were absolutely blown away by the fresh ideas produced and the talented individuals that presented final projects during the ‘Pitch Day’,” said Alyssa Manderson, Senior Programmes and Events Coordinator at Enterprise Cayman. “We are so excited to watch these projects evolve and welcome them to our new Launch Labs Studios initiative. I can’t wait to see what these talented individuals will accomplish.”

The Competition was launched in 2021, on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic, to help Cayman’s creative individuals and entrepreneurs access to key resources to identify and validate new ideas and opportunities to commercialise. To date 33 Cayman-born business ventures, including EmailchaserIsland Pet Co., and BizHub, have completed the competition and are part of a growing community of entrepreneurs.

“Our Business Design Competition is part of what leading regional economist Marla Dukharan has dubbed the ‘largest innovation ecosystem in the region’,” said Charlie Kirkconnell, CEO of CEC and Director of Enterprise Cayman. “We have developed and continue to develop a platform where innovators can connect, and we offer a welcoming business environment that truly fosters innovation — a place where individuals, local businesses, and global ventures can thrive!”

2024 Competition Finalists:

  • BureauBot – A corporate secretary platform by John Gracey and Stephanie Small
  • EcoBloxx – Building a greener future by transforming plastic waste into construction materials by Anthony Wambua and Peter Kigotho
  • E-Waste Recycling – A sustainable electronic waste recycling project by May Douglas, Wilfred Douglas, Xavier Suico and Melody Protacio
  • Hunted Offshore – The marketplace for offshore professional and legal services recruitment by Kayleigh Wright
  • Music Mate – An app for music learners and educators serving our music community by Kailasa HimaBindu Peyyeti and Kranthi Kumar Chamarthi
  • PIX – Converting user graphics into digital paint-by-numbers by Lance Mason and Kas Mason

2024 Programme Instructors & Project Advisors: Rodney Alison, Thais Ducent, Rich Dyer, Dylan Jackson, Rudolph Johnson, Zorina McCoon, Walker Romancia, David Strucke, Ty Thomas, Ramona Tudorancea, George Wauchope, Hollie Whitelocke, James Whittaker, and Qamar Zaman.

2024 Competition Awards & Winners:

  • The People’s Choice Award was presented to E-Waste Recycling, a sustainable electronic waste recycling project by May Douglas, Wilfred Douglas, Xavier Suico and Melody Protacio. Members of the public were invited to vote on the “People’s Choice Award” which included a USD $2,000 cash prize sponsored by Cayman National Bank.
  • The Storytelling Award for a business design pitch that showcases exceptional and innovative efforts in telling a story was presented to Hunted Offshore by Kayleigh Wright who is developing the marketplace for offshore professional and legal services recruitment. The project received a USD $1,000 cash prize sponsored by CaymanStory.com
  • The Innovation Award for an innovative business design that is inspiring, new and/or unconventional and The Community Impact Award for a business design that makes a difference in our local and/or global communities, were presented to Anthony Wambua and Peter Kigotho for their project EcoBloxx, who are building a greener future by transforming plastic waste into construction materials. The EcoBloxx team received a USD $2,000 cash prizes and wraparound business services sponsored by JB Advisory Services for The Innovation Award and a USD $2,000 cash prize and wraparound business services sponsored by eShore for The Community Impact Award.
  • The Project of the Year for a business design that shines above and beyond competition expectations was presented to Kayleigh Wright for Hunted Offshore, The marketplace for offshore professional and legal services recruitment. Wright took home the grand prize of USD $10,000 sponsored by Cayman Enterprise City, a promotional video valued at CI $2,000 sponsored by Silver Palms Studios, complimentary incorporation of company sponsored by HSM, a complimentary marketing support pack sponsored by Massive Media, and six complementary mentoring sessions sponsored by A.B. Consulting.
  • All competition finalist received a business support “Prize Pack” valued at $7,000 which includes legal sessions, marketing support, complementary mentoring services, a podcast feature on CaymanStory.com, reduced rate of incorporation, networking events, special discounts for start-ups, scholarships on courses, a complimentary Launch Labs Studios membership, and access to CEC’s Angel Investor Network. Thank you to the “Prize Pack” sponsors – Cayman Enterprise CityHSMCaymanStory.comHubSpotEmerge Technology Lab, and the Cayman Islands Investment Angel Society (CIIAS).

“Training has been fantastic. Everybody was so helpful, we learned a lot from them throughout this experience,” said Mae Douglas from E-Waste Recycling, winner of The People’s Choice Award.

“A huge heartfelt thank you. From the moment I reached out when I saw the competition advertised on LinkedIn the team was incredibly responsive,” said Kayleigh Wright from Hunted Offshore, winner of The Project of the Year.

“It is a very great opportunity, and I’m very thankful to Cayman Enterprise City and the mentors who actually gave their time to mentor us. It has been an excellent process for us to learn and fulfill our passion,” said Kailasa Hiimabindu from Music Mate.

“Many thanks to everyone who was involved in coaching and mentoring us throughout this process. It has been a wonderful experience through and through, and I’m excited to see the outcome of everything to come after,” said Anthony Wambua from EcoBloxx winner, of The Community Impact Award and The Innovation Award. 

George Wauchope, Co-Founder and CEO of Emailchaser and Business Design Competition Alumni said, “In 2022, I won the Enterprise Cayman Business Design Competition. This was extremely helpful for Emailchaser’s growth, as it provided awareness about my business, and also $10,000 USD which was very useful at that stage to fund part of the email finder tool. It was also a great learning experience. It has helped Emailchaser immensely in getting to where it is now, and has made a big impact on where company is headed.”

“Our innovation ecosystem now also features Launch Labs, an incubator designed to help projects progress from the idea validation stage to investment ready status, a nurture programme called Launch Labs Studios designed to support those projects, and a fledgling Angel Investor network,” said Kirkconnell. “We’re invite everyone to take advantage of Enterprise Cayman’s resources and supportive business network and anyone who might be interested in supporting or getting involved as a programme partner.”

The Launch Labs Studios initiative is now open for registration. To apply please visit www.enterprisecayman.ky. For enquiries email innovate@enterprisecayman.ky.