COCI Congratulates Startup Entrepreneur Cristal Legrand for Winning the Finals in Startup Pitch Competition
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COCI Congratulates Startup Entrepreneur Cristal Legrand for Winning the Finals in Startup Pitch Competition

L to R: Ife Badejo, Anastacio Baker, Cristal Legrand and Benjamin Ortega. L to R: Ife Badejo, Anastacio Baker, Cristal Legrand and Benjamin Ortega.

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce & Industry (COCI) Supervisory Board headed by President Benjamin Ortega and Executive Director of Operations Anastacio Baker, on behalf of the other board members and staff, would like to congratulate entrepreneur Cristal Legrand of Le Grand Voyages who out-pitched four start-up companies from the United States, the Netherlands and the Caribbean during the five startup finals of Present Your Startup Caribbean 2019 3rdedition of the startup pitch competition on Curacao that took place mid-March. 

The 3rdedition startup pitch competition was the closing session of The Road to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) 2019, a pre-event of the GES that will take place in the Netherlands in June.

Cristal Legrand had to make a three-minute pitch about her start-up followed by a seven-minute question and answer session to a panel of international and regional judges, she told Ortega, Chamber Board member Ife Badejo and Baker on Friday as she gave a presentation about her experience in Curacao during the pre-event to GES.

Legrand’s startup is a multi-destination management and marketing company offering a multicultural travel experience that encompasses the islands of Sint Maarten, Saba, St. Eustatius, Anguilla, and St. Barths branded as the “SSSAS Experience.”

Ortega stated that entrepreneurship is a daily passion with the drive that you are going to make it and he sees this in Legrand.  Ortega added that it was very important for businesses to network amongst each other and this was part of his inclusion initiative especially more than ever celebrating the Chamber’s 40thanniversary, allowing Sint Maarten businesses to compete with the best in the region and on a global level.

Badejo after the presentation said with the right kind of support, start-up entrepreneurs can build, innovate, and transform, and that the new Chamber Board is committed to provide the right kind of support and calls on the business community to inform them about the challenges that they are facing.

Legrand at the end of her presentation to COCI Supervisory Board and Executive representatives stated her advice to young budding entrepreneurs is ‘just do it.’  She added that her start-up will capitalize on the hub function of the island and offer better quality vacations for visitors.

Legrand already has her eyes on the ABC island as a hub besides other business opportunities within the Region, and she intends to continue doing it and making it a success.

GES uniquely gathers governments, the private sector and a powerful partner network to turn the challenges into business opportunities worldwide.  GES is hosted by the United States and the Netherlands.

GES 2019 which will take place from June 4-5 in The Hague, will focus on global opportunities for the next wave of entrepreneur-led innovation in scalable tech, from artificial intelligence and robotics to blockchain, big data, new science and more.

In The Hague, 1,200 invited entrepreneurs will engage with 300+ investors representing hundreds of billions of dollars, as well as top policymakers, corporate partners and thought leaders to accelerate solutions.

Cristal Legrand is one of the invited entrepreneurs who will be in The Hague in June.

GES was initiated nearly a decade ago by the United States Government.  It is the preeminent annual gathering of entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, and thought leaders from around the world, providing a unique event that is a combination of an innovation marketplace and policy forum.

Baker’s Suites and Alicia’s Inn were very instrumental in helping Legrand attend and participate in the Curacao pre-event, and Legrand paid homage to them during her presentation for the assistance that they provided adding that networking among businesses was the only way to move the economy forward.

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