Haiti Tech Summit adds another successful event to the books. The event concluded this past weekend with keynote speeches from tech’s finest, including the founder of Twitter and Square, Jack Dorsey. A special appearance was also made by Haiti’s president, his Excellency, Jovenel Moise, who made his presence known last year during the first annual Haiti Tech Summit.
Additionally, the summit returned with 100 global speakers and 750 guests, topping its numbers and its equally impressive roster from last year, which included iconic tech investor, Ben Horowitz of Andreessen Horowitz.
Haiti Tech Summit, founded by Forbes 30 Under 30 entrepreneur, mother, and wife Christine Souffrant Ntim, is a 13- year initiative of the Global Startup Ecosystem (GSE), which brings together hundreds of entrepreneurs, investors, digital marketers, and creatives to Haiti to accelerate tech, innovation, and economic development within the country. The aim is to turn Haiti into the world’s next major tech innovation hub by 2030.
“Hosting an event of this magnitude in Haiti not only aims to revitalize economic activity in the country but to also provide a new narrative for Haiti and emerging markets. Haiti is not open for business. Haiti is open for disruption,” said Ntim.
Companies represented included Silicon Valley giants such as Google, Facebook, Uber, Airbnb, Facebook, PayPal, MasterCard, LinkedIn, GitHub, Dropbox, Sendgrid, YouTube, Intuit, Adobe, and the list keeps growing year after year.
So what are the results from all of this? According to a press release, the summit generated tangible immediate impact-driven items for both the public and private sector. As highlighted in the 2017 Haiti Tech Summit Impact Report, Airbnb was able to close a 5-year agreement with the Ministry of Tourism, Facebook launched the country’s first internationally recognized developer community, and Google Launchpad launched an accelerator program to source and support the country’s leading startups. Furthermore, the president of Haiti announced the country’s first national incubator for entrepreneurs to be located in the nation’s capital, Port Au Prince. The incubator—Alpha Haiti—launched in the first week of June.
The summit continues to spark major initiatives within the country with the recent launch of Haiti’s first Space Agency. It sounds far-fetched but, in an effort to accelerate space tech industries in emerging markets, the GSE has announced plans to launch a space agency with government and private sector partners in Haiti, led by SpaceChain Foundation, a decentralized space agency that aims to harness the power of the blockchain to increase access to space and accelerate outer space development and settlement.
This is not the first time that this team has taken on the topic of space but, it’s a first for Haiti. The initiative is set to be a historic moment for the entire region. In short, the HSA is an independent agency of Haiti responsible for the civilian space programs, aeronautics, and aerospace research as well as the commercialized use of space technologies to accelerate industrial development.
As the team gears up for that it is important to note that the summit will return on June 20–22, 2019, to Royal Decameron so mark your calendars.