BUILDING A TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION ECOSYSTEM FOR THE CARIBBEAN – TECH BEACH RETREAT RETURNS!
Tech Beach Retreat will return to Montego Bay, Jamaica, Nov 29-Dec 1, 2018. The 2017 staging of the event was considered a massive success on a global scale with speakers including Jack Dorsey, Founder and CEO of Twitter and Square as well as Lloyd Carney, Former CEO of Brocade, which was sold for US$6 billion 1 week before the conference. With just two stagings, Tech Beach has emerged as the dominant force driving conversations on technology and innovation in the region and the world, with many in Silicon Valley, associating tech in the Caribbean with Tech Beach Retreat. Dorsey, visiting Jamaica for the first time, shared the story of Twitter’s growth from a simple idea shared by friends into a massive global enterprise which has driven numerous global shifts and played a huge role in discourse on matters of significant consequence. He also revisited the evolution of Square which was designed to empower people around the world to be more enterprising through the easier acceptance of payments anywhere in the world. He expressed future interest in the Caribbean. Mr. Dorsey also did not shy away from controversial topics, as many had expected. He was especially passionate about blockchain technology and bitcoin as the tool millennials will use to change the world. He also touched on the matter of politics, defending Twitter’s unbiased stance and the refusal to silence any single political voice. The global community will convene at the luxurious Iberostar Grand Rosehall Resort at the event aimed at connecting wealth and resources with ideas and opportunity. In 2017, Tech Beach gathered 250 tech entrepreneurs, investors and innovators from around the world. Over 60% of the participants were international and over 60% reported doing business with another Tech Beach participant within six months of the event. Tech Beach has yielded significant collaboration amongst participants resulting in partnerships, investment and new enterprise reaching as far as Dubai, easily dismissing the typical talk-shop reputation held by many conferences around the world. Participants represent companies including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Linkedin and Paypal. “We are working to spark an entrepreneurship and innovation revolution in the Caribbean. Our goal is to connect the best in the Caribbean with the best in the world, driving a paradigm shift in the economic outlook of the Caribbean. Our summits are designed to serve as catalysts for big ideas and innovation, positioning organisations with the right resources to make their visions happen,” said Kirk-Anthony Hamilton, Co-Founder and Curator of Tech Beach Retreat. Since inception, the event has evolved into an innovative platform, connecting people, ideas and opportunities, with the ultimate goal: to unlock the full economic potential of the Caribbean region through entrepreneurship and engagement. The hope is to inspire a culture that embraces innovative new ideas, spurring disruptive start-ups into large enterprise. The 2018 theme is Disruptive Innovation – Exploring the Technological Transformation of Industries. Focus areas continue to include fin tech, health tech and consumer tech, with special attention being paid to emerging technologies including digital payments, artificial intelligence, robotics and automation, cyber security, big data and blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. Co-Founder Kyle Maloney shared,“These are some of the areas which we believe are ripe for adaption in our market and they present the opportunity for the Caribbean to ride waves of new innovation. It’s very difficult for us to jump on the bandwagon of far advanced technologies, but these emerging areas have massive wealth creation potential for the region.” Tech Beach Retreat offers an interactive masterclass like no other, offering participants an all-inclusive non-hierarchical experience. The organisers have created an experience specifically targeted for the global community of entrepreneurs, investors and influencers to engage and build relationships with the local and regional captains of industry and the most promising start-ups. The forum is designed for relationship building, communication and organic business development. It is a catalyst for change, which exposes business leaders to the challenges and opportunities presented in our increasingly complex technologydriven, multi-dimensional, global, economic environment. Tech Beach’s positive results are based on its core framework: Innovate, Connect, Transform: Innovate – The successful businesses of tomorrow will look nothing like today. The Caribbean needs to create the enabling environment for its citizens, especially the youth and start-ups, to innovate and catch up with the rest of the tech-developed world. Tech Beach is an early stage reflection of the environment necessary. Connect - Connect for synergy and to consolidate! The second area of focus is to emphasize on the synergy required between the various stakeholders in the innovation chain of the tech ecosystem, i.e. start-ups, mentors, investors, etc, for any meaningful impact of innovations to be felt in the society. We connect the best in the region with the best in the world. Tech thrives on frequent idea exchange and collaboration. A more global ecosystem will foster new ideas and greater access to resources and markets. Transform - It is one thing to innovate, and yet another to utilize the innovations to transform the lives of the Caribbean people for the better. This is why Tech Beach 2018 will also focus on how to transform innovations to positive life-changing effects on the Caribbean population. We are empowering the next generation to positively shift the region’s economic outlook through entrepreneurship, innovation and technology.
Tech Beach Retreat is a fast emerging and widely celebrated global community of tech entrepreneurs, investors, influencers, enthusiasts and innovators meeting under the idyllic backdrop of the Caribbean sun, sand and sea. The platform offers a deal maker’s paradise where the best in the world come together. Tech Beach Retreat is presented in partnership with the Iberostar Resort, Jampro, Lucid Works and the Development Bank of Jamaica.
Tech Beach Co-Founder and Director Kirk-Anthony Hamilton (right) joins Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on stage during Tech Beach 2017