As a co-founder of the freshly forming Caribbean Seed Fund, I’ve been actively raising money to invest in Jamaican and Caribbean tech startups that have the potential to go regional and global. In the last 5 months, I’ve been closely observing the emerging trends in the private investing and entrepreneurship space in Jamaica, and here’s what I’ve learned:
- The pandemic has sparked a fresh level of entrepreneurship in Jamaica and the Caribbean. With people spending more time online, experimenting, and learning new digital skills, there’s been a move to take fate into their own hands by starting new businesses. This has resulted in a diverse range of new businesses and entrepreneurs, adding to the innovation ecosystem.
- Fresh investors are also hopping on the opportunities. First Angels and Alpha Angels were Jamaica’s first official, DBJ-sanctioned angel syndicates. Alpha seems to have fizzled, while First Angels is still going but seems to be experiencing the slow-down of deal flow. However, there’s a growing culture of loosely formed angel investors who have formed syndicates and are sourcing deals via their network.
- These are successful entrepreneurs and C-Suite Executives between 40 and 60 who are looking for higher risk, higher reward investment opportunities, primarily investing in what they know: real estate, manufacturing, tourism, food, beauty, and a little tech. They have private weekly or monthly pitch nights with 3-5 entrepreneurs, and this is a testament to the growth that seems imminent in the Jamaican economy as private capital seems to be in search of more great and diverse entrepreneurs.
- The emergence of these investors is a sign of a growing risk appetite in the private investment space in Jamaica. With private capital seeking more diverse entrepreneurs, there’s a higher potential for more success stories in all industry sectors over the next 3-5 years. As someone who has been in the Caribbean tech space for 16 years as an entrepreneur, startup ecosystem leader, and fresh investor, I’m excited about the possibilities.
- The Caribbean Seed Fund is on the next level with a fresh bunch of seasoned and committed US tech entrepreneurs and investors who seek fresh opportunities to cut cheques, give their time, open their networks, and connect these entrepreneurs to the best clients and the biggest and best markets. This is a network of leaders who understands the power of community and giving first to it, represent patient and smart risk capital, and are on a mission to create more successful startup stories and wealth creation in different parts of the world sourced from brilliant and determined Caribbean entrepreneurs.
- The Caribbean Seed Fund is focused on tech and is seeking entrepreneurs who have startups that leverage technology to solve problems and have the potential to go to the Caribbean, Latam, USA, and Africa.
In conclusion, the private investing and entrepreneurship space in Jamaica is evolving, with a growing number of investors seeking diverse entrepreneurs and startups with innovative ideas. With the emergence of The Caribbean Seed Fund adding its sauce to the mix, there’s a higher potential for tech startups to thrive and succeed, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for the tech ecosystem in Jamaica and the Caribbean.
Credit: Source link