Present Your Startup Caribbean 2018

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July 3, 2018
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September 6, 2018

Present Your Startup Caribbean 2018

Present Your Startup Caribbean 2018

The final of the second edition of Present Your Startup Caribbean was held on August 29, 2018, at Cinemark (Sambil). The event was organized by Mrs. Valerie Vallendunk and her team from Present Your Startup Caribbean. The main sponsors of the event were COSME, CINEX, and CDI.

Before we go into the details of the event let’s take a minute to discuss “start-ups”. Start-ups are newly emerged entrepreneurial business ventures that aim to meet a marketplace need, want or problem by developing innovative business models around creative products, services, processes or platforms.  Startup entrepreneurship is important because it brings the innovating culture to the forefront, it creates new jobs, it brings new competitive dynamics into the business environment and it contributes to the country’s economic growth. For Curaçao, it is important to acknowledge the importance of startups but also provide platforms such as Present Your Startup that educate and guide start-ups in the Caribbean.

Going back to the event, this time we got to see the winners of the semi-finals pitch for their businesses to international and local investors that attended the event. The event was hosted and moderated by Mr. Ramon Koffieberg, Managing Director of CINEX, who did an excellent job by getting the participants a little more comfortable in a very “Late Night Show Host” style, which had very positive results. The participants appeared to be more relaxed before the start of their pitch directed to the audience in front of a jury of five members consisting of Mr.  Luis Santine (Managing Director at CDI), Andre Curiel (Businessman), Mr. Robert Bloemers (Dutch Investor), Mr. Hans Hoogeveen (Dutch Investor) and our  very own Diana Intriago (Commercial Officer at DCSX).

Now let’s see what the presenting startups were all about:

Intro movie 5 Caribbean Finalists

Posted by Present Your Startup on Friday, August 31, 2018



Chad Lettsome from the British Virgin Islands is the first entrepreneur to start pitching for his startup “Ching”. Ching is a Fintech company born in 2016. Its product is a payment app that offers a faster and easier method that allows small businesses to make payments online by accepting credit cards on any device any time anywhere through a simple process: the credit card is scanned with the build in camera of the device, the customer then signs with their finger, and then the receipt is sent electronically to the customer.

Chad managed to establish a strong team and strategic business partnerships with Scotiabank, First Data, and CX Pay. CX Pay is a very recently established partnership that will allow Chad to market his product in Curaçao. All these strategic partnerships will contribute to the goal of reaching the global market.

As an investor, you can help Chad achieve his goals.
Investment Amount needed for Ching: $300,000/ 15% Equity Stake

Pitch 1 – Ching by Chad Lettsome

Posted by Present Your Startup on Thursday, August 30, 2018


Fresh Habits

The second entrepreneur of the night was Giancarlo Da Costa from Curaçao. His startup “Fresh Habits” born in 2017 offers fresh, pesticide-free, less expensive vegetables. He strongly believes in bringing locally sustainable and fresh produce to the Caribbean. With this brand, Giancarlo wishes to change the way we eat and introduce some fresh habits. Spring Mix is the first product of Fresh Habits which is packaged locally grown baby lettuce. The crops are harvested using a controlled environment agriculture technology that basically enables a high tech farm or Farm BOX as Giancarlo called it.

Fresh Habits is currently focused on serving the products to supermarkets but Giancarlo plans to expand within the Horeca sector. The future goals include the introduction of Small Home Farming Units that function automatically without a farming background required. With the selling of these units, Fresh Habits plans to enter the global market including the Cannabis market. Giancarlo has a solid team of experienced professionals that help him run Fresh Habits.

As an investor, you can help Giancarlo achieve his goals.
Investment Amount needed for Fresh Habits: USD300,000

Pitch 2 – Fresh Habits by Giancarlo Da Costa

Posted by Present Your Startup on Thursday, August 30, 2018



Lenette Lewis from the British Virgin Islands pitched for her Startup “SageRoots.” SageRoots is born from the necessity of having saved and sustainable skin care products in the British Virgin Islands. What makes SageRoots Unique? The use of organic Caribbean ingredients to craft simple safe and sustainable skincare products and made those readily available within the local market. The main goal of SageRoots is to become the first organically certified Caribbean brand with zero waste principles throughout the fabric of the company.

SageRoots had the opportunity to feature in international magazines. Unfortunately, the company was not able to capitalize on this exposure because hurricane Irma happened. Nonetheless, Lenette is determined to move forward with her goals to grow her business and support the Caribbean economy. Her wish is to expand her business within the Caribbean and the world. In order to achieve this SageRoots needs strategic global partners and financial support.

As an investor, you can help Lenette achieve her goals.
Investment Amount needed for SageRoots: USD150,000/ 10% Equity Stake

Pitch 3 – Sageroots by Lenette Lewis from British Virgin Islands.

Posted by Present Your Startup on Thursday, August 30, 2018


Flying Fish

Jay Collado from Bonaire pitched for his startup the “Project Flying Fish”.  Project Flying Fish brings a more efficient and less expensive solution to travel between the ABC islands; an innovation in maritime transportation.  His idea is to use wing ships to travel between the ABC island. Wing ships are classified as boats but float above the waves. Why wing ships? Compared to airplanes wing ships cost less money, cause less pollution and travel time is shorter. Wing ships have been around since 1903 and have been used by the military.

It wasn’t until 2013 that wing ships could be commercialized to the general public.  Jay has obtained the license to commercialize wing ships on the ABC islands. And more importantly, he managed to engage Damen Curaçao to assist with the construction of these wing ships.  The road ahead is performing feasibility studies, fundraising, organizing investment tours. These are all activities from the initial phase. As the project progresses more funding will be needed to create the prototypes and test them, to build the final product and to start operations.

Investment Amount needed for The Flying Fish:

  • Initial phase USD200,000
  • Over the course of 3 years: USD11 million

Pitch 4 – Flying Fish by Jay Collado from Bonaire

Posted by Present Your Startup on Thursday, August 30, 2018


Green Phenix

Last but not least Sabine Berendse pitched for her startup “ The Green Phenix” The Green Phenix mission is to combat the pollution against our oceans and the environment in general.  How? By using waste plastic and transform it into beautifully designed products with meaning. A minimum of 50% from proceeds of the sales will go to the Sea Turtle Conservation Curaçao, also managed by Sabine.

The main mission of  Sea Turtle Conservation Curaçao is to protect sea turtles and their habitat. Ocean pollution has been a constant problem because we have been fighting the symptoms instead of fighting the core problem. The Green Phoenix and the Sea Turtle Conservation Curaçao tare doing just that by cooperating with other organizations that share the same vision such as Limpi Design, Green Force Curaçao, and 2nd Life production. The main goal is to expand across the Caribbean. Help Green Phenix reduce plastic waste and establish its main business with funding to expand the production, sales/marketing, and logistics.

Investment Amount needed for Green Phenix: USD 600,000

  • Initial phase USD100,000
  • Over the course of 3 years: USD500,000

Pitch 5 – Sea Turtle Conservation Curacao & Green Phenix by Sabine Berendse

Posted by Present Your Startup on Thursday, August 30, 2018



Sabine Berendse with her startup “Green Phenix” from Curaçao won the people’s choice award with a cash prize of ANG5,000. The ultimate winner of the competition was Chad Lettsome with his startup “Ching” from the British Virgin Islands which won a cash prize of ANG10,000. His next step is participating in the Present Your Startup completion in Holland.

Congratulations to the winners!

The competition is over but these entrepreneurs still need your help. We encourage you to support the projects of these entrepreneurs that have been working very hard to grow their business. We have witnessed their growth during the whole Present Your Startup Caribbean program and are very proud of each of them. We wish them all the best and we hope they serve as an example to local entrepreneurs.

For more information about the participants and the program feel free to contact Present Your Startup:

Address: Hendrik Figeeweg 3F, 2031 BJ, Haarlem

Telephone: 023-2001444



Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.



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