The Star (St. Lucia) - - BUSINESS -

Dev758 So­lu­tions, the tech start-up be­hind LEAP Mar­ket­place, emerged as one of two Idea Stage win­ners of the Caribbean Tech En­trepreneurs Pro­gramme (CTEP) Re­gional Com­pe­ti­tion fi­nals in June 2017. Dev758 So­lu­tions was one of over forty fi­nal­ists who com­peted for more than USD 40,000 in cash, di­rect ac­cess to The Bran­son Cen­tre in Ja­maica and other prizes.

Leap Mar­ket­place is a mo­bile and web ap­pli­ca­tion which serves as a plat­form for lo­cal crafts­men, ar­ti­sans, fash­ion de­sign­ers and hob­by­ists to mar­ket and sell their prod­ucts with added busi­ness sup­port in­clud­ing pay­ment pro­cess­ing and de­liv­ery ser­vices.

“It was an ex­tremely chal­leng­ing but re­ward­ing ex­pe­ri­ence,” said Ja­son Cas­sius, co-founder, Dev758 So­lu­tions. “In the end, I am a bet­ter en­trepreneur and my idea is one step closer to fruition.”

Cas­sius was one of nearly one hun­dred per­sons from var­i­ous Caribbean is­lands en­rolled in the Pro­gramme. CTEP is or­ga­nized by Caribbean Cli­mate In­no­va­tion Cen­ter, which is funded by The World Bank. The com­pe­ti­tion as­pect of the ini­tia­tive was di­vided into three stages of busi­ness: Idea Stage, Val­i­da­tion Stage and Rev­enue Stage.

The en­trepreneurs had all par­tic­i­pated in the three-month long pro­gramme. Each course was fa­cil­i­tated by busi­ness and tech in­dus­try lead­ers through­out the Caribbean and the rest of the world. The par­tic­i­pants were re­quired to cre­ate busi­ness plans, in the form of a pitch, de­velop early stage pro­to­types and pro­duce a pitch video for their idea or prod­uct.

Cas­sius im­pressed the judges from the early stages with his men­tor ses­sions, as­sign­ments and the level of in­no­va­tion in his pitch deck (busi­ness pro­posal). For his ef­forts, he is one of six win­ners (two in each stage) who will each re­ceive a grant to con­tinue with their tech start up.

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