The Caribbean Innovation Challenge (CIC) is an international entrepreneur competition and business start-up accelerator for young people in the CARICOM Member States. Organized by the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT, in collaboration with regional and national partners, the CIC, is part of the of the Talent and Innovation Competition of the Americas -TIC Americas, the most recognized Hemispheric Competition for Young Entrepreneurs in the Americas. The CIC and TIC Americas go beyond traditional competitions as they incorporate training and mentoring as a “before” stage and follow-up, investment linkages and promotion opportunities as a “after” stage.

The YABT is proud to launch the Second Edition of the CIC and provide a support for young entrepreneurs and business start-ups in the Caribbean.

The First Edition of the CIC 2012 -2013 was originally developed as part of the Youth-IN program sponsored by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and implemented by the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT).


CIC Achievements 2013


  • 493 Teams presented business projects or business ideas to compete; representing 17 CARICOM Countries and       involving 1,366 participants
  • 20 Finalists were selected to showcase their businesses live at the Finals, Expo and Awards Ceremony that took place on April 25-26, 2013 in Barbados. Teams received international visibility and feedback from experts and the public, networking opportunities with potential clients and investors, among other opportunities.
  • Six winners were awarded and nominated to represent the Caribbean at the 2013 TIC Americas in Guatemala prior to the OAS General Assembly. Two of the six Caribbean teams competing in the TIC Americas won in the Social Entrepreneur and the Eco- Challenge Categories in 2013: http://ticamericas.net/news/dc060313.php
  • An Integral Training Program as preparation stage was implemented with practical, hands-on methodologies; a total of 1,755 people benefited from the trainings, from June 2012 to October 2013
  • A CIC Support System is established, creating a unique Caribbean entrepreneurial       ecosystem of over 150 collaborators from public, private and academic sectors
  • Interactive map with information on current programs that support young entrepreneurs in the Caribbean is available here: http://youthin-cic.net/map/
  • The CIC 2013 Portfolio of Finalists Entrepreneurs is available here: http://www.youthin-cic.net/Download/CIC_Magazine.pdf
  • Capacity building through training in business support mechanisms was facilitated to Ministries of Youth in November 2013. A cadre of national trainers is under certification process to become Business Labs trainers.
  • Assessment undertaken over six months in the region was published based on findings of the needs of young entrepreneurs in CARICOM countries
  • The BOOT Camp, an online resource and training center is created. The Business Opportunity Online Training Camp registers 25 training sessions in business development topics facilitated by international experts from around the world. The recorded sessions are available for later consultation free of charge: http://youthin-cic.net/activities.php

The CIC has two phases:

1. Semi-Finals: Teams complete their concept paper, business model, a Facebook group or blog, and a collage of promotional photos or video or graphical presentation. A BOOT (Business Opportunity On-line Training) Camp and various technical resources are available to Teams to develop their ideas into solid projects and create a practical strategy for implementation. Groups of international judges will review these plans and select the top Finalists to move onto the Finals.

2. Finals: Finalist Teams will present their “pitch” for the CIC Award to international judges who will select the winning team/s. Winners will have the opportunity to showcase their products or services in an international event, gathering representatives from the private and public sectors, academia, among other national and international guests.