Designed for Entrepreneurs and Innovators to Develop, Test and Launch New Projects, Products, and Services
At the 3rd annual Cayman Islands Digital Economy Conference (CyDEC) on Thursday, 25 June 2020, it was announced that CEC’s Cayman Tech City special economic zone and the Utility Regulation and Competition Office of the Cayman Islands (OfReg) have teamed up to offer a new programme specifically designed for entrepreneurs and innovators to test new technology projects, products, and services.
The new programme, which falls under the Launch Labs initiative by Cayman Tech City, invites businesses of all sizes to test the feasibility of new products and services within Cayman’s market and to join Cayman Tech City’s technology community with greater ease and flexibility. The initiative allows entrepreneurs to establish their Cayman Islands special economic zone business by obtaining employment and trade certificates at a reduced cost and by acquiring an experimental license within one of OfReg's regulatory sandboxes.
CEO of Cayman Enterprise City, Charlie Kirkconnell, detailed the perks of testing new technology in the islands, saying that “the Cayman Islands is an attractive place to test new technology, ideas and digital products. Cayman’s latest tech programme streamlines processes and bundles existing concessions to create a cost-effective and time-efficient ‘off-the-shelf’ test bed package for global as well as local innovators and entrepreneurs.”
Alee Fa’amoe Deputy CEO & Executive Director at OfReg said, “now more than ever the Cayman Islands need to become a global leader in attracting knowledge-based industries and innovative new technology. We hope that local and international entrepreneurs will take full advantage of the programme and join Cayman’s dynamic tech ecosystem.”
The OfReg regulatory sandboxes are frameworks where innovative products and/or services can be tested in a live environment with real consumers before they are brought fully to market. Regulatory sandboxes allow innovative businesses to capture real data on the effectiveness and sustainability of their products, guiding any necessary changes before the product launches, which could be costly to fix later from both a financial and reputational perspective. Regulatory sandboxes are beneficial for start-ups and existing firms alike. Both groups can share their interest in experimenting with innovative technologies or ideas, which can foster partnerships and new ventures.
Businesses who take part in the initiative will also have access Cayman Tech City member perks which include marketing support, recruitment support, access to professional meeting rooms, invitations to special events and networking opportunities, speaking opportunities, administrative support, and concierge services. Flexible pathways allow for businesses of all sizes and at all stages to participate.
Kirkconnell notes that the wider Launch Labs programme is in constant motion and has set out to support individuals and businesses to innovate from within the Cayman Islands. “Businesses can now collaborate, experiment, test, and find the freedom to innovate while being adequately regulated and while meeting the requirements for establishing a genuine physical presence in the Cayman Islands.”