Eight startups have been selected to pitch in front of a panel of investors and a live audience at the ATECH conference in Aruba this October. The startups are:
Perksy (USA/New York)
Perksy is a next-gen consumer insights platform for brands and a category-creating rewards app for consumers. Perksy redefines data capture and makes it relevant for the mobile generation—combining elements of design, pop culture, and mobile gaming.
Redeemy wants to make banking more social. Redeemy is a platform that enables bank customers to finance social projects.
Sea Going Green (Netherlands/Amsterdam)
Sea Going Green promotes sustainable tourism through sustainable business. Sea Going Green consults tourism companies with marine related activities and is developing a mapping app for the marine environment to promote the sustainable use of the sea.
Keto Clinic (Aruba)
Keto Clinic wants to develop simple low-cost dietary intervention that can be used as an adjuvant treatment for Obesity, Diabetes, Epilepsy and Metabolic Syndrome. Keto Clinic plans on creating a digital platform where patients can receive accompaniment for embarking on a ketogenic diet.
LocalAventura (Mexico/Mexico City)
LocalAventura is a curated platform for booking authentic tours all throughout Latin America. LocalAventura connects passionate local guides with travelers who want to have local, off-the-beaten-path experiences.
Global Tutoring Hub (Barbados)
Global Tutoring Hub is personalized adaptive learning platform that offers users a unique learning experience based on their learning styles. The platform focuses on finding out how you learn and then delivers content customized to your needs.
findSisterhood (USA/Los Angeles)
findSisterhood is an anonymous social network for women. findSisterhood created a safe space for women to share their story and find their strength with the support of other women.
Hi5 Solutions (Aruba)
Hi5 Solutions provides businesses and governments a trusted system for identity validation and document sharing to meet their compliance requirements. Hi5’s system lowers errors, fraud risk and costs by reducing the need for manual identity checks.
The selected startups get a chance to showcase their company before a team of judges and investors. Each startup will have one founder have their expenses covered to pitch during the conference where the winner will receive US $10,000 in prizes.
The Aruban governement’s Chief Innovation Officer Varelie Croes spoke to LATAM.tech about how ATECH–a non-profit initiative–corresponds to the different way in which the island is thinking about its future. Having limited resources, Croes told us that the Aruban government–one that had originally attracted people for its sandy beaches and tropical weather– had to revisit how the country could move beyond its tourism industry.
“We realised a big gap in terms of funding and innovation.” Croes said, “The current government is very serious about developing new pillars of the economy.”
This economy will be on based on knowledge and it will have innovation as its focus. Without putting pressure on the physical ecosystem Croes stated that the country will need to increase their export capacity and, as a result, needed to boost the entrepreneurial ecosystem in order to survive.
Developing RnD and entrepreneurship however will come at a price, especially as Aruba has small budget and does in large part depend also on financial assistance from the Netherlands.
Which is why 2018 was a great year for the country where three million dollars was designated for innovation. The year before it was there was nothing for innovation, suggesting the priorities of the new administration. The country will also be opening a new STEM faculty by 2020 to make sure they have enough talented minds that can tackle the serious problems of innovation.
The startups that Aruba is aiming to foster, according to Croes will display “purposeful innovation” and a “human-centred approach”.
The eight startups that have been chosen for ATECH will also have this approach in mind when they pitch to investors in October, ensuring that multicultural Aruba has sunny days ahead of it.