Smart Mosquito Repellent Attracts Top Prize At Startup Bootcamp


Luke Coyle presents the winning business idea, SHU!

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Monday, October 31, 2016 – An idea for a smart mosquito repellent monitored through a software app has emerged the winning idea at the Caribbean Climate Innovation Center (CCIC) Greentech Startup Bootcamp in Barbados.

SHU! Won the first prize of US$1,000 after a team of Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic and Barbados Community College students pitched the idea to a panel of esteemed judges on the final day of the three-day bootcamp held at the Cave Hill School of Business recently.


Team members of the winning business idea, SHU!, with CoESL’s managing director Dr. Marcia Brandon (extreme left) and CCIC’s project manager Carlinton Burrell (second left).

The second prize of US$500 went to Forté Agrosciences which proposed using fish offal to develop a chemical-free liquid fertilizer, while Greentech Agri-business Center took the third prize of US$250. The other team, Pacific Dream, which pitched vertical aquaponic farming to produce premium fruits and vegetables was also commended.

In announcing the winners, head judge Dr. Jeannine Comma reported that it had been a tough choice for her and fellow judges Dr. Monica Masino and Leighton Waterman because of the high quality of ideas and work presented by the budding entrepreneurs.


“We think this is an excellent project and it was a tough decision for us…We had four winners,” she said, after telling the participants that their plans were “very interesting…and obviously needed in our community.”

The pitches and the announcement of winners were the climaxes of the bootcamp that was organized by the CCIC’s hub in Barbados, the Caribbean Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Livelihoods (CoESL).


Over the three days, the 21 participants heard from local experts in renewable energy and other green areas in an Idea Generation Session (IGS) who spoke about the challenges in the sector, which helped the boot campers develop Greentech business ideas; were advised by several mentors who advised them on how to take their businesses forward; and were coached by Kristyna Zapletalova, chief executive officer and founder of MAQTOOB, and Adil Gherib, the company’s co-founder and chief operations officer.

At the end of the intense 54-hour event, the coaches, organizers, and mentors agreed that the transformation of the participants – many of whom were students who entered the program with no previous experience in business – was astounding.

“The first day we invited them to pitch their ideas. Often we couldn’t even understand what their thoughts were about and we couldn’t hear them. Over the following two days, we coached them in how to speak well, how to present their ideas better, how to build a strong message. We helped them to build their prototypes and their pitch decks…And the progress from day one to the final pitches was incredible,” explained Zapletalova.


CoESL’s managing director Dr. Marcia Brandon said while she was hoping to get more people coming out to participate in the bootcamp, she was satisfied that the initiative attracted “quality, even though not the quantity.”

She said watching the growth was inspiring.

“I was extremely impressed with their performance,” Dr. Brandon said, stressing that it was not only the final pitches that deserved praise but the boot campers’ dedication to the entire process. “They made an effort, they gave up their weekend, and they worked long hours, and we see the results.”

The bootcamp in Barbados was the fifth the CCIC has held throughout the region. Previous bootcamps took place in Jamaica, Trinidad, Antigua and St. Lucia. The next one will take place in Belize from November 11-13, followed by Dominica, November 18-20. Dates are yet to be announced for bootcamps in other CCIC participating countries: The Bahamas, Grenada, Guyana, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

CCIC’s project manager Carlinton Burrell said the winners of the bootcamps would move into the CCIC’s six-month Accelerator Programme.

“Each of them will receive US$15,000 to help them develop and grow their idea into the next stage, which is the Incubator Programme,” he explained.

The CCIC, established in 2014, is spearheaded by a consortium which includes the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) in Trinidad and Tobago and the Jamaica-based Scientific Research Council (SRC). The initiative is one of the core components of the Entrepreneurship Programme for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC) which is funded by the government of Canada and managed by infoDev, an Initiative of the World Bank Group’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Unit.

The Caribbean CIC is one of eight CICs established across the world. The others are Kenya, Ethiopia, India, South Africa, Vietnam, Morocco, and Ghana.


The Caribbean Climate Innovation Center welcomes newly appointed Chair, Lisa Harding

By: The Caribbean Climate Innovation Center

The Caribbean Climate Innovation Center (CCIC) is pleased to announce the recent appointment of Ms. Lisa Harding as its new Chair, by the Center’s management committee. She will serve for a one-year period with effect 13th September 2016.

Ms. Harding succeeds Dr. Marcia Brandon, Managing Director of the Caribbean Center for Excellence and Sustainable livelihoods, Barbados. CCIC is extraordinarily fortunate to have these two dynamic, accomplished and committed members of the entrepreneurship community to lead the Center through such critical stages in our development.

Dr. Brandon joined the committee in 2013 and became Chair in 2015 at a time when the Center was transitioning from its infancy into a professional organization. Under her leadership, the Board provided the strategic vision, governance structure, support and encouragement that enabled us to grow and thrive. During Dr. Brandon’s tenure, the Center’s full-time professional staff grew from two to three; the vision of our new modality began to bear fruit in significant ways, and our startup companies are expanding across the region. We have accomplished tremendous strides in the past year and, due in large measure to Dr. Brandon’s leadership, the Center is in a strong position to do even more important work in the coming years.

Thanks to great teamwork between Dr. Brandon and Ms. Harding, the management committee hasn’t missed a step during this leadership transition. As Chair, Ms. Harding will guide the Center as it realizes its objectives while developing its strategic plan for becoming a fully incorporated entity.

Ms. Harding is currently a Private Sector Specialist in the Private Sector Development Unit of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). With a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA), along with her diverse portfolio of projects focusing on access to finance, business climate reforms, trade facilitation and business development; Ms. Harding brings valuable expertise that the Center will need as we continue to develop a regional ecosystem for accelerating Caribbean Cleantech startups.

Ms. Harding, who is an avid speaker on issues surrounding entrepreneurship and private sector development, serves as a guest lecturer for UWI’s Student Entrepreneurial Education Development program and the Caribbean Institute of Gender and Development. She is also CDB’s coordinator for the Compete Caribbean program- a USD $40m private sector development program that provides technical assistance grants and investment funding to support productive development policies, business climate reforms, clustering initiatives and SME development activities, in 15 Caribbean countries. The program is jointly funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and the Government of Canada.

The CCIC is deeply grateful for the tremendous amount of time, energy, and support that all of our management committee members, past and present, have devoted to advancing our mission to improve the lives of those affected by climate change and to lead this initiative in mitigating its effects through entrepreneurship.