The journey from the small island nation to the heart of global innovation marked a significant milestone for both Felix and the burgeoning entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Caribbean.
Reflecting on the win, Felix shared his initial exposure to the opportunity: "I first heard about it a while back because one of my friends in the US had done it, and also two other entrepreneurs from the Caribbean."
The opportunity presented itself when the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) partnered with Draper University, a renowned Silicon Valley institution known for nurturing entrepreneurial talent. There were a total of eight entrepreneurs from the OECS, and our sponsors included Jetblue Ventures and the Caribbean Development Bank.
Medial Health, addressing the challenges of healthcare record-keeping, seized the chance to participate in a two-week online program and then the five-week in-person program where we stayed at their campus in Silicon Valley. Felix recalled the diverse cohort of entrepreneurs from around the world, including Asia, who gathered for intensive entrepreneurial training.
One distinctive aspect of the program was the "survival week," where participants were forced to disconnect from technology, fostering problem-solving and resilience.
Felix noted, "We had to give up our cell phones and went to a campsite for team-building activities, competing in challenges that required problem-solving with limited resources—akin to the real-world challenges faced by startups."
The program offered more than just training; it provided a unique opportunity to engage with influential figures in the startup ecosystem, including Tim Draper, a fourth-generation venture capitalist known for his investments in unicorn companies. Felix and his peers had the chance to pitch their ideas to Draper during activities like hiking, further solidifying their learning experience.
During the pitch competition, Felix's storytelling prowess and the impact of Medial Health on healthcare caught the attention of the judges, including Tim Draper. Felix recounted,
"When I pitched my business, he was just listening, and all the judges said he really likes your idea and he likes your company."
The recognition from someone with Tim Draper's experience provided Felix with confirmation that Medial Health was onto something truly impactful.
The emotional moment of victory came when Felix was announced as the winner among entrepreneurs from 34 different countries.
"I was very emotional because just... I didn't expect it, but I kind of expected it, so I didn't know how to react. I almost cried." Felix admitted.
The win not only brought pride to Felix as a black entrepreneur from St. Lucia but also highlighted the potential of the Caribbean in the global startup landscape. He emphasized the significance of being the first from the Caribbean to win such a competition, stating, "It's a big thing."
Although there was no monetary prize for the pitch competition, Medial Health received a valuable offer—an offer for investment from Draper University. This offer, coupled with the recognition of winning the competition, positions Medial Health as a promising player in the healthcare technology sector.
As Felix took the stage to deliver his speech, he shifted the focus from his victory to the broader impact of Medial Health's work.
"This is not really about me, but this is really about the millions of lives that our work can impact and change and make their healthcare experience better," he declared.
Medial Health's triumph is not just a win for the startup but a significant step forward for the Caribbean, proving that innovation knows no geographical bounds. Felix's journey from the idyllic landscapes of St Lucia to the epicentre of global technology showcases the potential of entrepreneurs from small nations to make a lasting impact on a global scale.
For more information on Medial Health - Please visit their website at www.medialhealth.com or reach out via phone or WhatsApp at 1-758-727-6318.
News story courtesy of Loop News St. Lucia.