Sunshine Exchange has been named the winner of Fintech Islands Experience (FiX) Startup Pitch 2024, defeating nine companies to secure the grand prize of a non-dilutive cash award of US$10,000 to inject into the business.
The Startup Pitch competition was held on January 26, the final day of FiX24, the largest international fintech event in the Caribbean, which was held in Barbados at Sam Lord’s Castle: A Wyndham Grand Resort.
Ahead of the world-class event, a call was made for founders of early-stage fintech startups with company offices in the Caribbean, or founders domiciled in the Caribbean that have raised less than US$1.5 million in investor funding to create and submit a pitch deck and a three-minute video presentation that tells the story of their company. Ten finalists were selected, receiving all-access passes to FiX24, and the opportunity to pitch for three minutes on the main stage in front of hundreds of global fintech leaders and a panel of celebrity investors, giving them an invaluable opportunity to showcase and build their businesses.
Following the pitches, Trinidad and Tobago’s Jarryon Paul, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sunshine Exchange, was announced as this year’s winner. The runners-up also won non-dilutive cash awards. Onest, co-founded by Stevon Darling, placed second, receiving US$5,000, and the third prize of US$2,500 went to TruMeiD Trust Inc., founded by Jeston Lett.
Sunshine Exchange is focused on providing access to digital assets in exchange for Caribbean currencies, providing remittance services to the Caribbean diaspora in the global north and transforming currency exchange and conversion with a penultimate aim to replace every Cambio [money exchange] at airports around the world. Paul, who has over 17 years of experience as an entrepreneur, expressed to the judges that Sunshine Exchange has a vision of financial freedom for all and that he and his team are relentless in their pursuit of this goal.
“Over the next two years, we are prepared to raise funds and find the right partners to work with, which will allow us to acquire the licenses we need to scale the business and scale to our next countries, Jamaica, Dominican Republic and ultimately to Mexico. So, what I’ll ask for is US$500,000 as well as bringing the right partners, investors, and team members to get there,” Paul said.
Fintech Islands Startup Pitch was sponsored by Republic Bank (Barbados) Limited, International Finance Corporation (IFC) – World Bank Group in partnership with D3 Bahamas, Draper Startup House and the TimePledge Network. The 10 finalists pitched to a judging panel of Chief Information and Digital Transformation Officer at Republic Financial Holdings, Houston Ross; Head of FinTech Investments Latin America and the Caribbean at IFC, Leila Search; Managing Director of Silicon Hills Capital, Anita Roberts; Founder and CEO of Guppy, Sanjib Kalita; Chief Business Officer of Yuno, Carol Grunberg; and Financial Inclusion and Regional Harmonization Consultant at United Nations Capital Development Fund, Annie Bertrand.