Christine Souffrant puts Haiti in the spotlight
Haiti was honored at the "Digital Entertainment World 2015" (DEW), a startup competition which took place in Los Angeles February 10 -12, 2015, where Christine Souffrant, a young Haitian entrepreneur, emerged as the winner, beating participants from 169 cities throughout the world.
Publié le 2015-02-26 | Le Nouvelliste
llThe three-day competition gathered directors from the music and publishing industries to discuss, deliberate, debate, and celebrate the challenges, opportunities, and successes inherent in the digital entertainment industry, enabling technology suppliers, platforms and digital distribution companies to meet and engage.
DEW 2015 is also a contest where every startup CEO presented their business plan for eight minutes and then answered a jury of renowned investors’ questions. After yet another selection, four finalists were chosen to present to a larger panel of investors who then selected the winner.
The Vendedy project won the 2015 edition of this competition. Manatt Digital Media’s (MDM) website shares that "Vendedy is an incredible story with a compelling vision.” Vendedy was declared" winner "by a panel of judges - and it encapsulates the power of "digital: (1) global / without borders; (2) the impact of compelling visual / images; (3) the power of micro-transactions in our new "sharing economy" of the digital world; and (4) the concept of social impact, which is increasingly important to Generation Y.
Vendedy is a startup that aims to scan the market for informal artisanal sales by setting up mobile marketplace with an auction system in favor of more than 2 billion mobile traders through 150 emerging markets. For the first time, the artisans will have the opportunity to download and make pictures of their work available pictures on an online gallery via mobile technology, a smartphone designed by the US technology giant IBM, then monitor offers to potential customers and able to take payment for the sale.
Thus winning the prize, Souffrant, Founder and CEO of Vendedy, was awarded 75,000 USD. MDM has contributed 50,000 of the total budget in the form of an investment of 25,000 USD in the company (in the form of a convertible bond) and 25,000 USD invested in the company via consultations and legal services.
Souffrant is a Haitian entrepreneur with seven years of experience in business management, six years of international studies in over 30 countries, and two years of experience in banking and finance. She graduated from Dartmouth University with a scholarship from Bill Gates, "Gates Millennium Scholarship." In 2013, she decided to pursue a master's degree at Hult International Business School in Dubai focusing on social entrepreneurship.
In Dubai, she headed a startup maintained by Google for entrepreneurs and was the source of several initiatives across the city. As a child, she witnessed the struggles of her family, hanging around street corners, at flea markets in Haiti to sell craft pieces in order to be able to send her to school. Having traveled to over 30 countries to become familiar with street artisans stories in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, she launched Vendedy in the summer of 2014 as the first the mobile market auctions for craftsmen worldwide.
Article by Patrick Saint-Pre
Translated from Le Nouvelliste
by Oksana Goldman