Funded & Flown Out –  3 Jamaican Entrepreneurs Become TechStars – Silicon Caribe

Everything remarkable we’ve seen happen in Tech seems to come down to one thing: Connecting the right people at the right time. As we write this, 3 Jamaican Tech Startups are at TechStars New Orleans starting their programme after signing on to USD$120,000 investment each for 6-9% of their business.

Yeah, they’ve been Funded & Flown Out thanks to the Network Effect. 

This is what happens when Tech Entrepreneurs are passionate, persistent, and patient. This is what happens when two super connectors ( Ingrid Riley & Melissa Pegus) collaborate.  You get an investor like TechStars to invest US$360,000 | JMD$54,000,000 in 3 startups, run them through their rigorous programme and then give them access to their network of investors for more money, connections, and expertise. I can’t wait for DEMO Day later this year.

So yeah, we’re excited for and celebrating Khary Sharpe, Founder of HeadOffice: Dylan Brennan, Founder of Cyphr and Jermain Morgan and Rory Richards Founders of GroceryList for getting TechStars investment and acceleration and access to their global investor network.

The Back Story. 

Kingston BETA Founder, Ingrid Riley partnered with US organisation Entrepreneurs Across Borders to host Beyond the Beach Tech Event at the AC Hotel Kingston. We brought together a highly curated group of super connectors and investors from the US with a group of leaders in Jamaica who are helping to transform our DIgital Economy and Tech Ecosystem.

Because of that Ingrid met Melissa. Melissa, is Managing Director of TechStars Atlanta and New Orleans Powered by JP Morgan. They became a major sponsor of Kingston Beta Meetup Events, and then were introduced to Community Members who have early-stage Startups that are highly investible Khary and Dylan. Then while in Jamaica got clued into Jermain Morgan’s company thanks to a meeting with DBJ ( another Kingston Beta Sponsor) which also coincided with Jermain sliding into Ingrid’s Linkedin inbox from March this year. The network effect.

This is another reason why there is massive value in being part of a community and developing relationships before you need them and growing your network matters.

Congrats to them all! Can’t wait for them to return to share their stories. Next Round…more Women in the Mix!!

About the Startups

Khary Sharpe – Head Office – Techstars

Khary had pitched at the Beyond the Beach event where he showcased his startup, HeadOffice. HeadOffice is a super app that helps businesses in underserved markets with local taxes, customer management, and team management. Khary also drew interest from US 3 investors attending Beyond the Beach who had a friendly but brisk competition over him, with Melissa from Techstars offering the best deal.  

HeadOffice is: For Accountants and Entrepreneurs throughout Latin America and the Caribbean that need localized support managing taxes & payroll in non-us denominations.

Dylan Brennan – CYPHR – Techstars

As a result of relationships she made at Beyond the Beach, Melissa Pegus was a featured speaker at Ingrid Riley’s Kingston Beta in July. There she met Dylan Brennan. Dylan is the CEO and co-founder of CYPHR an app that allows musicians and songwriters to easily record themselves, collaborate with others, and increase their income. 

Cyphr is: For musicians that are denied access to a career due to funding, location and gatekeeping, we remove those barriers to entry by allowing them to create, collaborate and earn income directly on their smartphones using Cyphr.

Jermain Morgan & Rory Richards (Co-Founders) – GroceryListTechstars

Again, Investor Rockstar Melissa Pegus met Jermain Morgan while attending the Kingston Beta event. Jermain and his co-founder Rory Richards created GroceryList an easy way for people to shop for groceries for family and loved ones in Jamaica. Think of it as remittance via grocery delivery. 

GroceryList is: A comprehensive consumer platform that allows individuals in the USA, UK, and Canada to send remittances to their loved ones throughout LATAM and the Caribbean in the form of groceries. 

“Please join me in cheering our founders on as they embark on this 13-week journey to transform their 3 startups and elevate the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Jamaica” – Melissa Pegus, Managing Director, Techstars Atlanta and New Orleans Powered by JP Morgan

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