3 Jamaican Creative Startups win $800,000 in Seed Funding

Film, Literature and Gastronomy startups received $800,000 in seed funding on Friday November 26th, from Kingston Creative’s ‘Best Pitch Forward’ investment programme, now in its second year.

10 creative entrepreneurs were prepped to pitch by Dmitri Dawkins, Entrepreneur Development Specialist, Kingston Creative. Andrea Dempster Chung, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Kingston Creative commented,”This is our second year doing the Investment Pitch competition and we are very proud of this group of creatives who showed tremendous growth over the past month. I am happy to see the wealth of investable talent that exists in the cultural and creative industries.”

At the end of the pitch night, the winners were:

1st Place $400,000 – Mezan Morisson, the film Bluefields

Mezan Ayoka
2nd Place $ 250,000- Eileen Dunkley-Shim, Netty’s Farm Kombucha beverage

3rd Place $100,000 – Sosheina Whyte, Mind Priority Journal and App

Sosheina Whyte

The audience also voted for a People’s Choice Winner that $50,000 prize also went to Sosheina Whyte for her Mind Priority Journal, who delivered her pitch in a rhythmic Dub Poetry style, which really engaged the audience.

Despite not placing in the top four, every contestant will receive $1000 USD in AWS credits through a partnership with KC and Amazon.

The tough job of choosing the winners fell to the 5 judges; David Mullings from Blue Mahoe Capital, Judith Alberga from TVJ, Wayne Beecher Innovative Finance Specialist at UNDP, Maria Hitchins, Founder of Dancers of Jamaica and Lorenzo Escondeur the Cheif of Operations (COO) of IDB Lab.

The event was a partnership with JAMPRO, an agency of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, the Development Bank of Jamaica and IDB Lab who are invested in growing the local creative economy.

Watch this space to find out more about these creative entrepreneurs as they grow their businesses!