June 24, 2016
Local entrepreneur Kenia Mattis has been selected winner of Spark the Fire Pitch Startup Competition during the hosting of the US State Department’s, Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) this week.
Following the win, the United States Embassy congratulated Mattis, noting, “Kenia’s pitch was so good that she was selected as one of the three finalists who surmounted the global competition.”
The three finalists were selected from more than 10,000 applicants — four of which were Jamaicans.
Spark the Fire pitch competition, organised by the Global Entrepreneurship Network, is designed to help emerging entrepreneurs from around the world seeking investment, as well as start and scale their venture.
It’s the seventh staging of the event and was held over a three-day period ending today.
With a passion for storytelling, Mattis started ListenMiCaribbean, a digital media production company for children that produces content that stirs imagination and inspires pride. Mattis was the sole Jamaican from a select group of local applicants awarded full funding by the US State Department.
For winning the competition, her company will receive US$15,000, US$1,000 AirBnB credit, and the opportunity to pitch directly to some of the top venture capitalists and angel investors in America.
Other Jamaican participants were Patria-Kaye Aarons, founder and CEO of Sweetie Confectionary and a nominee for the Jamaica Observer’s Mogul in the Making 2015; Nichole Crawford-Thompson, co-founder and CEO of Niritech Limited; and Yaneek Page, founder and CEO of The Innovators School Clubs.
During the summit, entrepreneurs engaged in workshops, panels, ignite talks, pitch competitions, mentoring, and networking sessions aimed at building their entrepreneurial skills.
Participants also connected with industry experts and featured speakers including US President Barack Obama.