Cayman Tech City announces ‘Launch Labs’ initiative

Cayman’s tech community meets for a 'Tech Talks' discussion.

Cayman Enterprise City’s Cayman Tech City special economic zone and the utility regulator OfReg are partnering in a new programme designed for entrepreneurs and innovators to test new technology projects, products and services.

The programme, which is part of Cayman Tech City’s Launch Labs initiative, invites businesses of all sizes to test the feasibility of new products and services within Cayman’s market and to join the special economic zone’s technology community.

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 licence within one of OfReg’s regulatory sandboxes.

Charlie Kirkconnell, CEO of Cayman Enterprise City, said in a press release Cayman 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 and executive director at OfReg, said, “now more than ever” the Cayman Islands needs 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,” he added.

OfReg’s regulatory sandboxes are frameworks where innovative products and 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 to inform any necessary changes before the product launches, which could be costly to fix later from both a financial and reputational perspective, Cayman Enterprise City said.

As such regulatory sandboxes are beneficial for start-ups and existing firms, allowing them to experiment with innovative technologies or ideas.

Kirkconnell said, “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.”

The Launch Labs initiative was first announced at the third annual Cayman Islands Digital Economy Conference (CyDEC) in June.

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