As companies struggle to survive amidst the COVID pandemic, a host of Caribbean technology businesses are poised to benefit from a major boost which will spur their further growth and scaling potential.
IDB Lab has forged a technical cooperation agreement with TechBeach Retreat to accelerate 200 tech-driven businesses with mentorship, technology services, networks, and connections to enterprise opportunities and investors.
Tech businesses participating in the 3-year programme will be drawn from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, and the Bahamas.
Kirk-Anthony Hamilton, Co-Founder of TechBeach said the brand was built on a simple premise to connect the best in tech in the world with the best in the Caribbean.
“We’ve proudly partnered with the IDB over the last two years to drive this mission and we’re excited about this evolution in our relationship. Tech entrepreneurs in the region often struggle because they lack access to resources to help them succeed.”
He said this happens as regional businesses are competing against entrepreneurs who operate within layered ecosystems that facilitate growth at varying levels through knowledge exchange, funding, policy, mentorship and partnerships.
To further support the technology ecosystem, the initiative will connect 1,000 regional technology entrepreneurs to a global community of technology experts and train more than 80 persons from the Caribbean corporate community, to undertake corporate innovation program.
Therese Turner-Jones, IDB Jamaica Country Representative and General Manager for the Caribbean Country Group noted that the initiative comes at a time when the Caribbean is generally recognized as a challenging place to start and operate a business especially technology businesses, which represent a potentially high growth sector.
She said, “While many countries have attempted to bridge the digital gap, existing policies, workforce and infrastructure in the region remain deficient.”
“The regional private sector is at a competitive disadvantage as they continue to operate in a relatively low-tech, high-cost environment, which is constraining growth potential and economic prosperity.”
Terry -Ann Segree IDB Lab Private Finance Operations Senior Specialist noted that the region has had a modest record of successful home-grown tech companies.
She said the partnership with TechBeach Retreat is another great opportunity to provide regional technology entrepreneurs with access to a world-class technology acceleration programme, as well as benefit from insights from leading international technology professionals and industry leaders.