Kingston, Jamaica: WeXchange, the largest forum in Latin America and the Caribbean connecting high-growth entrepreneurs with mentors and investors, invites applications from Latin American and Caribbean start-ups for its pitch competition.
Start-ups applying must have at least one woman on the founding team who will present the pitch. The firm must be less than four years old and have received less than US$1 million in financing. Science technology, engineering and math (STEM) should be key components of the start-up, which should also demonstrate high innovation, impact and global scalability.
WeXchange is an initiative of IDB Lab, the innovation arm of the Inter-American Development Bank. It is designed to unleash the growth potential of women entrepreneurs in STEM throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. It organizes annual fora in various Latin American countries offering regional entrepreneurs the opportunity to meet investors, mentors and fellow entrepreneurs from all over the region as well as benefit from training and inspirational presentations.
According to Terry-Ann Segree, Private Financial Operations Specialist at IDB Lab, over 1600 participants from 24 countries have benefited from the initiative over the past 6 editions. “We have connected them with over 340 investors and 170 sponsors, collaborators and mentors,” she said.
“As we are launching the progamme here in Jamaica we encourage Jamaican female entrepreneurs to apply as they will have the opportunity to compete on a global stage and showcase the innovation and scalability of their business models.”
Six finalists from the region will be selected to pitch their businesses before an international panel of investors during the upcoming WeXchange Forum. The Forum is scheduled for Asuncion, Paraguay on November 13 and 14. The most innovative and dynamic female entrepreneur with a STEM-based venture will take the top prize of a one-week immersion program at Microsoft offices in San Francisco where she will receive mentoring as well as be introduced to potential investors and collaborators.
Interested women entrepreneurs are urged to apply at www.wexchange.co by July 31.