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‘Startup Huddle’ to launch in Saint Lucia

[Press release] SLUDTERA would like to inform all St. Lucians, particularly St. Lucian Entrepreneurs, of Startup Huddle to launch in St. Lucia in November 2018 around the time of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW).

Startup Huddle is a program designed to build and strengthen local entrepreneurship ecosystems – by helping one Entrepreneur at a time and to Educate, Engage and Connect Entrepreneurs. Either weekly or monthly, Entrepreneurs come together to present their startup to other members of the local ecosystem – revealing challenges and crowdsourcing solutions from audience members.

Startup Huddle is owned and operated by the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN).

GEN is responsible for coordinating the global platform and catalyzing local Startup Huddle events through a collection of local organizers and national partners – chosen by GEN – who maintain responsibility for their individual events while following the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

St. Lucia has now joined the network in bringing Startup Huddle to its community as there is a healthy saturation of Entrepreneurial Spirit on the island. Watch the promotional video; https://youtu.be/5stFNNnQq8Y

Organizers and Co-Organizers

Startup Huddle St. Lucia will be managed and run by Local Head Organizer Michelle N. Samuel, Assistant Team Lead Sean Leon, and their team of Local and Regional Co-organizers who are residents of St. Lucia, the Caribbean and Latin America.

The ultimate goal is to provide these Regional Co-organizers the experience and tools they would need, in order to host and organize a Startup Huddle program in their own island or country. To date, the team comprises of individuals from St. Lucia and applications are being processed from individuals who are residents of Guyana, Dominica, Paraguay, Haiti and Trinidad & Tobago. Other applications are still being received.

Startup Huddle St. Lucia will be an integral component of The Entrepreneurship Readiness Program Inc. (ERP). Persons who enroll in The ERP, will receive a series of challenges, and are required to present the solutions to these challenges ( which addresses one or more of these Sustainable Development Goals; Quality Education, Affordable and Clean Energy, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action), as business ventures or social enterprises which can eventually grow into something bigger.

Participants will receive assistance from Mentors, if they choose to be assigned one.

What To Expect at Startup Huddle St. Lucia

As an experiential learning opportunity, the Startup Huddle St. Lucia format will be consistent with the format used in every other location where it is held, with the exception of an addition made by Local Head Organizer Michelle N. Samuel, which incorporates it into the Entrepreneurship Readiness Program (an online learning source for Entrepreneurs).

What Happens at Startup Huddle St. Lucia?

Once every month, two early-stage startups present their companies/initiatives/products to a diverse audience of their peers, mentors, educators, and advisers.

Prior to presenting, the founder prepares by enrolling in the Entrepreneurship Readiness Program, incorporating lessons from the Kauffman Founders School “Powerful Presentations” series, and workshops. Presenters will also be assigned one or two Mentors, should they choose this option, though it is highly recommended.

Each founder presents for six minutes, followed by a 10-minute question-and-answer session with the expert panelists, then a 10-minute question-and-answer session with the audience.

The event is open and free so the public is welcome to attend. The key audience may comprise of invited guests such as Students, Business Professionals, Ministers of Government, Members of the US Embassy Bridgetown, Representatives of The Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), Representatives of Educational Institutions, Representatives of Partner Organizations and Companies.

Presenters will engage in collaborative and honest conversations with like-minded people in the community. They will receive feedback via an audience survey. During the presentations, the audience will complete an online survey based on what each startup is presenting.

The startups will also receive feedback from the event organizers. Startups will also be enrolled in follow-up workshops based on the nature of their presentation and other available opportunities for the startups.

Why Startup Huddle St. Lucia?

The culture surrounding Startup Huddle St. Lucia is that of a supportive, neutral space welcoming entrepreneurs to be open and honest about their businesses and the challenges they face. Everyone that attends Startup Huddle St. Lucia is there to support each other in their entrepreneurial journey.

The progress of each startup will be monitored by the event organizers and the founders’ Mentors. Another aspect of Startup Huddle St. Lucia is preparation for the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) program. Each startup will be coached and prepped in readiness for the application process of the YLAI program which is held annually. This will be done through the Entrepreneurship Readiness Program.

Event time layout (all times are in AST):

This may be slightly altered to incorporate special guest speakers or presenters.

10:00 am to 10:52 am – 52 minutes for presentations – This includes the 6 minute presentation for each founder followed by the 20 minute Q&A session for each founder. During this time, the audience will be asked to complete a survey on the two founders’ presentations.

10:52 am to 11:00 am– 8 minutes for announcements and vote of thanks.

11:00 am to 11:20 am – 20 minutes for networking – This will be done in the lounge/breakout area where light snacks and non-alcoholic beverages will be served. Persons will get an opportunity to exchange business cards with presenters, arrange important business meetings with them, etc.

11:20 am to 12:00 noon – (Closed Forum) The event organizers will share with the founders/presenters, the feedback received from the audience survey and from the judges.

The venue for Startup Huddle St. Lucia in the North of the island has been identified as the National ICT Center for very small gatherings, training sessions and workshops, however other venues are being considered to accommodate higher capacities and those venues are Bay Gardens, Sandals, The Financial Center and The Harbor Club. The event will also take place in the South of the island and venues in that area are also being evaluated such as Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa, Ladera, and Jade Mountain, among others.

There are open volunteer positions available in the Startup Huddle St. Lucia program, some of which need to be filled no later than August 31st 2018. Interested persons are asked to visit the Startup Huddle St. Lucia website; https://startuphuddlestlucia.wordpress.com to see these available volunteer positions. They can be found under the tab “Apply To…”.
The Team plans to work in collaboration with the SBDC, the Chamber of Commerce, the US Embassy in Barbados and other key stakeholders, to ensure that this program benefits St. Lucian Entrepreneurs and other Entrepreneurs in the Region.

An official Call for Applications to Present notice will be issued soon, however, interested Entrepreneurs can apply now to present, to ensure that their names get placed on the presentation list right away.

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