Dominica

Update from the Island of Dominica regarding the effects of Tropical Storm Erika

The island of Dominica would like to thank the Caribbean community and others for the support we are receiving in the days following Tropical Storm Erika. We are saddened by the lives that were lost. We are dedicated to locating those who are still missing. Our thoughts and prayers are with all families, residents and visitors experiencing such tragic loss.

Here is an update on island services.
• Water and electricity have been restored to most of the island, with water repairs taking slightly longer for a few villages.
• The L’ Express Des lles ferry service, which brings passengers from the islands of Guadeloupe, Martinique and St. Lucia is currently running.
• All sea ports remain functional and open.
• Douglas-Charles Airport remains closed as crews clean up and assess the damage. The runway has been cleared and a C-130 Military aircraft has landed to bring in supplies.
• Canefield Airport is operational for helicopter and small aircraft as per schedule below
o WINAIR is providing daily flights to Canefield Airport in Dominica from St. Maarten.
o Caribbean Helicopters is providing daily fixed wing service on a 6-seater aircraft between Antigua and Dominica’s Canefield Airport.
o Hummingbird Air offers charters to Canefield from St. Maarten, St. Thomas and St. Croix.
• Liat and Seaborne Airlines have increased flights into Guadeloupe to facilitate travel into and out of Dominica via ferry services.
• We have confirmed that more than 60 of our estimated 100 hotels and resorts are currently operational. Visitors are encouraged to check directly with their accommodations regarding the status of their properties and surrounding infrastructure. Some hotels are beginning their annual September/October closure early in an effort to clean up and re-group for the busy fall travel season.
• Tour operators are operational, although some are observing their seasonal maintenance shutdown.
• Hiking trails and roads are being assessed for accessibility and safety.
• Sites and attractions are being assessed for accessibility and safety. We can report no damage to Emerald Pool
• Dive Operators are functional. Visitors are encouraged to check directly with their dive operator regarding the status of their operations and surrounding infrastructure
• Dominica tourism officials are working with island visitors and others to provide service and answer questions.Please call 767 448 2045 or email tourism@dominica.dm if you have a query.

Several fundraising sites have been established to assist with relief efforts. Here is a link to the Office of the Prime Minister’s site where additional details can be found, as well as some links to the relief funds:

http://www.opm.gov.dm/

• Officially endorsed Dominica Government GoFundMe account:http://www.gofundme.com/DA-ErikaReliefFund

• New York Diaspora:http://www.gofundme.com/DAwecareFUND

• Red Cross of Dominica:https://www.youcaring.com/red-cross-of-dominica-421257

Please visit www.discoverdominica.com for additional updates.

Three OECS Tech Companies make Top 25 Startups to Watch in 2015

BRADES, Montserrat – Two Montserratian startups and one Dominican-based company have been included in SiliconCaribe.com’s Top Caribbean Startups to Watch in 2015.

Ingrid Riley of Jamaica is the founder of connectimass, a non-profit organisation which teaches tech entrepreneurship.
Ingrid Riley of Jamaica is the founder of connectimass and siliconcaribe.com

This is the first year that SiliconCaribe, a blog focused on Caribbean technology education is publishing the list. Curator and Tech Evangelist Ingrid Riley said “the list of startups was chosen through a process of submissions by on-the-ground Caribbean tech community leaders, innovation hub managers and startup experts. We also looked at the winners of key Caribbean wide competitions and of course there were a number of wild cards that we discovered.”

“The list represents what Caribbean Tech Entrepreneurs are thinking and some of the problems they are seeking to solve. Additionally, based on current and developing trends in the growth of the Caribbean’s Startup Ecosystem, we expect to see, more Caribbean startups overall over the next 3-5years, with a number of global contenders among them. As a result, this list is a snapshot of where things are now and a glimpse of the region’s bright future,” added Riley.

Lindsay George, CEO of ComeSeeTV of Dominica at work streaming the World Creole Music Festival. ComeSeeTV is one of three companies from the OECS which made the Top Caribbean Startups to Watch in 2015.
Lindsay George, CEO of ComeSeeTV of Dominica at work streaming the World Creole Music Festival. ComeSeeTV is one of three companies from the OECS which made the Top Caribbean Startups to Watch in 2015.

On the list is ComeSeeTV from Dominica. ComeSeeTV is the Caribbean’s largest portal for streaming original content. Over 11 million people annually access content created by churches, carnivals, governments and entrepreneurs. Clients can create free content, On Demand or Live Stream Pay Per View events.

“We’re very pleased to have been included in this list,” said Lindsay George CEO of ComeSeeTV. “The demand for services continues to increase and we want to be the platform delivering the best service rivalling YouTube, LiveStream and others. The secret is really the people around the region who are creating the content that friends and family globally want to see.”

eVisa (MOVA), an electronic visa application system which provides approval on requests within 24 hours. It also allows the government to collect revenue directly via credit card payments and eliminates the current practices of using consulates in various parts of the world which can take weeks and also does not provide local income. This product is from Lavabits a software development firm based in Montserrat.

Talypso is a voting software which cuts the wait time for results at cultural competitions such as calypso, soca and pageants. It gives real time information on a leader board as the show progresses and results can be announced within 20 minutes of the competitions ending. The team have also developed a Government document system which allows various departments to work on the same project and share documents while maintaining security. Talypso is a product of a Software startup Rovika, run by Manish Valeccha and Dennison Daley.

The Caribbean Tech Startups span the sectors of Internet of Things, eLearning, Online Media, Mobile Gaming, Mobile Surveys, eAgriculture, eHealth, Social Shopping and more.

See the full list at www.siliconcaribe.com.

7th CARIBNOG Happening Now in Dominica

Bevil Wooding, left, one of the founders of CaribNOG, leads a session at the seventh installment of the regional technology development event, held in Roseau, Dominica from April 28 to May 2, 2014. Photo courtesy CaribNOG.
Bevil Wooding, left, one of the founders of CaribNOG, leads a session at the seventh installment of the regional technology development event, held in Roseau, Dominica from April 28 to May 2, 2014. Photo courtesy CaribNOG.

ROSEAU – Regional and international technology experts are gathering in Dominica to address Caribbean technology challenges and to collaboratively derive solutions that are relevant to the region.

The Caribbean Network Operators Group, CaribNOG, is hosting its seventh regional meeting in the island’s capital city, Roseau, from April 28 to May 2.

CaribNOG is a forum for network technicians and technology professionals from across the region to share experiences and participate in expert-led, high-tech training exercises and hands-on technical workshops.

“The Caribbean is at an interesting juncture with respect to its growing dependence on Internet-related technologies. The region is extremely vulnerable to cyber attacks and has to take steps to develop its technical human resource capacity. CaribNOG is key part of the response to that challenge,” said Bevil Wooding.

Wooding, one of the founders of CaribNOG, cited examples from around the world where similar volunteer groups have emerged and now collaborate to help protect local networks against mounting threats, and to keep pace with technology change.

CaribNOG 7 follows a series of workshops and training events held across the Caribbean in 2013, including two regional meetings in Barbados (CaribNOG 5) and Belize (CaribNOG 6). Sessions will focus on network design, mobile network infrastructure, cyber security, Internet Exchange Point management and cloud infrastructure.

Stephen Lee, CaribNOG’s programme coordinator, described the work of the volunteer-based group as “invaluable for advancing the technical skills of ICT professionals in the region who design, manage or secure the network infrastructure”.

The CaribNOG meeting is being streamed via the Internet for remote participants. Participants are drawn from the Caribbean, Latin America and North America and as far away as Europe and Africa. The event is being hosted by the Dominican National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC) at the Fort Young Hotel in the capital city of Roseau.

Dominica’s Next SuperModel Coming to www.trulycaribbean.net Live on Friday

TrulyCaribbean.net is proud to partner with Comeseetv.com to bring live coverage of the first Dominica Next Super Model competition on pay per view.

The cost is US$ 5 to view outside of Dominica and US$ 15 if living on the island. (Link will go live on Friday at 7:30pm)

Ten models will compete in four segments to win prizes which include travel and participation in St. Maarten Fashion Week, Antigua Fashion Extravaganza and Miss Caraibe Hibiscus 2013 on St. Martin. They will also receive: Makeup supplied by Mio Cosmetics, Wardrobe by Casual behavior (Accessories, Bags, Shoes), A one-year Modeling Contract with D.N.S.M INC (Spokesmodel for D.N.S.M INC), Professional Photo shoots for Portfolio, and do an advertisement for Tempo water.

The four segments are Introduction, swimwear, professional attire with interview and High Fashion wear.

Competing for the title are Nicole Morson, Stevia Christopher, Kersha Breezie, Reshema James, Talia Celestine, Shaina Simon, Earlisha Bruman, Gholda James, Veda Phillip, and Lynah Bontiff.

Other Awards to be one are Best Photo Model, Best Runway Model, Most Popular, Best Swimwear, Best Spokesmodel, Best Professional Attire, and Best High Fashion.