1. What is the Caribbean Climate Innovation Center (CCIC) about? The CCIC was established in 2014 and is being spearheaded by a consortium which includes the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) in Trinidad and Tobago and the Scientific Research Council (SRC) in Jamaica. The initiative is one of the core components of the Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC) which is funded by the Government of Canada and managed by InfoDev/World Bank. Under this program component, the main thrust of the CCIC is to develop a climate innovation eco-system in the Caribbean. We provide support services and financing to Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), which focus on climate change mitigation and adaptation needs. All Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries except Haiti are benefiting from the project. These are Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. The thematic areas of focus are water/waste management, energy efficiency, solar energy, resource use efficiency and sustainable agriculture/agribusiness. Since inception the CCIC has supported companies from the nascent stage up to later stage innovations, by providing early stage education, bootcamps, accelerators, grants, mentoring, access to finance, partnership, networking, marketing and other support services. Over US$500,000 in grant funding has been awarded to innovative entrepreneurs that operate in the climate space across the Caribbean region.
2. How to contact the CCIC? Facebook: @CaribCIC Twitter: @CaribbeanCIC LinkedIn: Caribbean Climate Innovation Center
The bootcamps focus on business ideas or solutions which address climate change mitigation and adaptation needs. Solutions should address customer needs in areas such as agriculture, renewable energy and energy efficiency, recycling, water and waste management. In short, environmentally friendly business solutions.
4. What is Caribbean GreenTech Startup Bootcamp (CGSB)? This an intense 54-hour weekend/weekday event during which clean tech entrepreneurs are empowered with the skills and tools relevant to start or advance sustainable businesses that are environmentally-friendly solutions. Individuals may come with and pitch a startup idea that can address the problems caused by climate change. Others may attend the idea generation sessions to formulate business ideas gleaned from industry experts, which they can pitch at the bootcamp. Individuals will break into groups to form teams/companies, tackle important business issues as they move through the essential assessment, feasibility, and execution stages of new venture creation. Existing companies are strongly encouraged to apply and attend with members of their team and work together throughout the bootcamp. Training will be provided by accomplished trainers and bootcamp is heavily supported by expert mentors. The curriculum covered during the bootcamp include (a) entrepreneurship & clean technology (b) importance of idea validation & product/market fit (c) idea pitching process (d) assessment & team formation (e) building business model & prototypes (f) public speaking.
5. Is there a fee to participate? Yes. A fee is normally assigned for the three-day event which is payable at the bootcamp.
6. What are the incentives for participating in the CGS bootcamp? Prizes will be awarded to the top 3 idea pitches.
• Admission to CCIC Accelerator program. The winning business idea will move on to the accelerator program where financial support will be provided for the development of the business. Other participants may further develop their business model and apply to the accelerator program.
7. Do I have to apply online? Yes, you may atwww.caribbeancic.org/bootcampfor the bootcamp you would like to attend and complete the application.
8. Is this event for me? If you are interested in entrepreneurship the answer is most definitely yes. Whether you are a serial entrepreneur or new to the startup scene, if you’re interested in clean technology and motivated to build a product, service or startup and if you are open to new ideas, you’ll fit right in.
9. What is the Idea Generation Session (IGS)? The CCIC has realized that there are significant hurdles to cross when starting a new company or reinvigorating an existing one. Some of these include proper market testing and research, product development, fundraising, and knowing how to effectively create a company. In addition, startups in green technology suffer from a few additional barriers. These include a general lack of knowledge regarding real and current market problems, difficulty in accessing customers, and access to support with hardware (prototyping, manufacturing, etc.). With that in mind, the CCIC hosts a ‘pre-bootcamp’ Idea Generation session. The two primary objectives of this session are to educate participants on what a startup is and to brainstorm startup ideas based on current market problems associated with clean tech solutions. Persons who attend the IGS and who do not yet have a business idea, but are interested in starting one, will have a better understanding of the real technology/project problems related to climate change and will be better equipped to enter the bootcamp with viable business ideas. The format of the IGS includes a panel discussion by clean tech and business experts weighing in on the clean tech challenges facing the country and market problems faced by existing clean tech businesses. Attendance at the IGS is FREE so take along a friend with you!
10. Do I have to pitch an idea to attend? No, but we encourage you to! You may pitch an idea you've been thinking about for years or something you only thought of during the Idea Generation Session. With that, you have the platform to receive feedback from the panel of experts. It's a great experience and invaluable practice for public speaking.
11. Do I need a team? Teams are usually formed at the bootcamp; however, entrepreneurs may opt to work with their existing teams/staff. To work with existing team/staff, you should ensure that team members apply separately and state that they are a part of a team on the application (mention name of team members).
12. Do I have to participate all three days? Apart from volunteers, mentors, organizers, and press, all selected participants are expected to participate all three days. This is important not only to maintain the flow of the event and ensure participants receive the needed training but also to minimize distractions/disruptions for working teams.
13. Are accommodations provided for participants who wish to participate? Participants are responsible for booking their own transportation and lodging (if needed). If you are traveling and unfamiliar with the location, reach out to the local organizing team and ask for nearby accommodation recommendations. Some venues may allow attendees to stay overnight, but please make sure to check with the organizers beforehand.
14. Where can I find a schedule for the event? Each event has its schedule posted on each country bootcamp page and on the events calendar onwww.caribbeancic.org/bootcamp.
15. What should I bring? Participants should bring items they deem necessary for a productive entrepreneurship bootcamp. Here is a list of items to note: • Business idea (clean tech related) • Laptop • Power cord • Business cards • Camera – take pictures and videos to let your friends and family see! • Lots of creative energy!
16. How do I prepare before the bootcamp? • Conduct background research to have a better understanding of the problem you’re trying to solve with the product or service you are proposing to introduce to the market. • Practice your pitch. You'll have 60 seconds to persuade other attendees to join your team. Make it clear, concise, and convincing!
17. How do I protect against people stealing my idea? The short answer is that you can’t. If you’re very concerned, you can give an overview of your business idea without giving key information.
The longer answer is that this is not something worth worrying about. Unless you are confident that your idea is a unique, easy to implement a solution that hasn’t yet been thought of, the advantages gained from getting expert feedback and working with a strong team motivated by collective ownership far outweigh the risks of someone stealing and executing your idea. More than 90% of ideas pitched at CGSB have been pitched many times over. This doesn’t imply that the idea isn’t a good one. Rather, what truly matters is how well you and your team execute the idea.
18. What if my idea doesn’t get selected? The purpose of the pre-pitch voting session is simply to highlight some of the most scalable high-potential business ideas so as to facilitate the formation of a manageable number of teams for the bootcamp and also to ensure that each team has a variety of expertise to mimic as best as possible, the team required for an actual business.
If your idea isn’t selected, be willing to join another team and utilize the lessons learned during the bootcamp to review and if necessary pivot your own business idea. This will assist you to have a more refined business model and increase the chance for your application to be selected for the CCIC accelerator program.
19. What are we supposed to have accomplished by the end of the bootcamp? While there are no specific requirements in terms of what teams should accomplish by the end of the bootcamp, it’s in your best interest to plan your execution around what you’ll be judged on for the final pitch: • Customer Validation (Is your business solution nice to have or need to have? Did you vet your business? Do you have an addressable market within or beyond your respective Caribbean countries?) • Execution and Design (what did you build or design?) • Business Model (do you have a plan for the future? Do you have a description of how the business will work?)
As for pitching your business idea, some of the most common presentations include one or a combination of any but not limited to the following (in no particular order): • Product demos • Mobile Apps (from mock-ups to skeletons to fully functional) • Slide decks (PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi, etc.) • Videos (i.e. product demonstrations, etc.) • Skits