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Connecting the Caribbean through a Regional Search Engine

Connecting the Caribbean through a Regional Search Engine

Posted by Shanelle Weir on January 20, 2015

The West Indies Federation tried it, albeit through different means, and now Connect-In Caribbean Corporation is hoping to bring the countries in the region closer together.

Executive chairman and founder Corrie Brewster explained that his service would be a search engine – Karib – similar to the likes of Google and Bing, that would connect the Caribbean through the World Wide Web. Connect-In Caribbean is among the 24 businesses competing in the second season of Bank On Me. The contestants will pitch their business plans on CBC-TV8 tonight and next Tuesday.

Brewster told the Daily Nation that the idea for a regional search engine came after several unimpressive attempts to find a number of companies in the region. He recounted episodes of not finding businesses unless he knew the name and precisely what he was looking for. Other than that, he would have to spend valuable time scanning through pages of results simply to find what he was looking for. And the idea came that if he was so frustrated about this process, maybe others were too.

That was in 2011. So he began in-depth research but, because of lack of funds, was unable to get the idea off the ground until last year when he linked with software developers out of India. Karib has created a database to help Caribbean businesses become more visible to their potential online customers.

Brewster hopes that Karib will become a service similar to what Ali Baba is to the Chinese, where it would be the nexus for Caribbean e-commerce. And Brewster believes that his serach engine can be that platform. “Of course, we can break through [the traditional search engines] because they are not doing a good enough job of representing the Caribbean. Research has also shown that other regions do not use these search engines to fetch results. For example, countries like China, Russia and Korea have other search engines that rank way higher than those that we all use here,” he said. “This is one of the many reasons behind why we have created our very own Caribbean Search Engine and Caribbean Online Marketplace.

Our main aim is to assist regional businesses and web entities to have true visibility on the World Wide Web today and beyond, and to be known for the source that provides 100 per cent valuable information on all Caribbean territories.

“By creating such a network, we will be able to create jobs across all spectra of the Caribbean to create stability in the most troubled economies and reach international territories with our commodities.” Karib is to be officially launched by the end of February. An entrepreneur for about 15 years, Brewster said if he did not win the Bank On Me competition, he would have still won because of the invaluable experience he received. (SDB Media)

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