The two-day event brought together hundreds of participants including technology entrepreneurs from the Caribbean and North America, and 52 world class keynote speakers from multiple global companies like The New York Times, Forbes and Inc. Magazine, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, Massy and Airbnb, among others.
The six participating technology companies from the Eastern Caribbean were: IslandTEK, eMagine Solutions Inc, Converge Solutions Inc, and Big Brother Technologies (based in Saint Lucia); and airZoon and Wimediacom (based in Martinique).
The mission was part of the INTERREG Trade Enhancement for the Eastern Caribbean (TEECA) project which is coordinated by the Chamber of Commerce of Martinique (CCI Martinique) along with the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the Territorial Collectivity of Martinique and the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export).
The delegation was led by OECS Competitive Business Technical Specialist, Kwesi Roberts; and Special Advisor for Trade and Legal Affairs at the Caribbean Export Development Agency based in Barbados, Gayle Gollop.
This year, the TechBeach Retreat was sponsored by Google and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Participants had the opportunity to attend key presentations on the current state of innovation, entrepreneurship and disruptive technology in the region. The event also enabled the six entrepreneurs to participate in B2B meetings during which they had the opportunity to network with global players in the area of technology, access new products and services, and showcase innovations made in the Caribbean.
Co-Founder of TechBeach Retreat, Kirk-Anthony Hamilton, highlighted:
“The event sought to foster collaboration among like minded individuals in the area of technology and strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean. The nonhierarchical nature of the event allows people to meet tech leaders and exchange ideas in a relaxed environment”. Hamilton said.
Panel discussions, round tables and presentations were delivered on the following matters:
The Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Fifth Horizon;
Life with Machines: Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation;
Blockchain Technology and Digital Assets;
Cashless Societies: Scaling Fin-Tech Solutions to Mainstream Impact;
Smart Infrastructure and the Future of Cities;
Google Innovation and Reinvention: The Intelligent Enterprise and the Experience Economy;
The Future of Work: Exploring the Technological Transformation of Industries;
Cyber Security and the New Paradigm of Everyday Life;
The Future of Health and Well-Being; and
Entrepreneurship and Innovation within the Digital Revolution.
Participants also attended workshops for Start-Ups and Corporates on eGovernance, Scaling and Venture Capital.
About the TechBeach Retreat
Every year, the TechBeach Retreat brings together some of the most influential minds in technology to Montego Bay, Jamaica. The two-day event offers an immersive experience where 50 of the top technology industry leaders of the world, along with approximately 300 executives, investors and techpreneurs engage in thought-provoking, industry-disrupting panels, presentations and workshops. The TechBeach Retreat creates multiple opportunities for meaningful and lasting connections to be made.
About the INTERREG TEECA project
The Trade Enhancement for the Eastern Caribbean (TEECA) project is co-funded by INTERREG Caraïbes and led by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Martinique (CCIM), in partnership with the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), and the Territorial Collectivity of Martinique (CTM).
The INTERREG TEECA project was launched in 2018. The programme aims to accelerate trade within OECS Member States by providing assistance to companies based in Martinique and the English-speaking countries of the OECS which wish to access to other markets. The INTERREG TEECA project fosters forging win-win partnerships within the entrepreneurship ecosystem of the region. Hence, 29 companies which were selected at the end of the call for projects are currently benefiting from a two-year tailor-made support programme to enable the export of their products and services to other markets.
This programme also aims to promote entrepreneurship among young people in the OECS Member States through the TECCA Caribbean Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge.
About INTERREG CARAIBES Programme 2014-2020
Coordinated by the Regional Council of Guadeloupe as the Managing Authority, INTERREG Caraïbes is a European Union programme which enables the French and European territories of Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique and Saint-Martin, to undertake actions that foster cooperation with neighbouring countries of the Greater Caribbean. More than 35 countries from an area that encompasses Mexico in the north, to Venezuela in the south, are included among the potential partners of INTERREG-funded projects.