Silicon Valley seeks Caribbean entrepreneurs and creators

The technology capital of the country is looking for Caribbean creatives to be a part of their initiative to improve the environment and the lives of people living in the region. Singularity University, a global educational technology organization based in California, is asking Caribbean entrepreneurs and innovators to present a startup idea that will change the livelihood and scope of climate in the Caribbean. In a partnership with the Global Startup Ecosystem, both groups have launched the SingularityU Caribbean Global Impact Challenge.

The competition deadline, which is April 11, wants residents and citizens of the Caribbean to present a technology idea to reduce negative climate effects. Winners will be announced in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on April 22, which will kick off the Haiti Tech Summit to follow June 6–7. Candidates from various backgrounds and a passion for environment are encouraged to apply, said organizer and partner for the Global Startup Ecosystem.

“All ranges of entrepreneurs are able to join the program as long as there is an interest to learn about tech that can benefit humanity,” said Christine Souffrant-Ntim. “The program is not just for entrepreneurs but it is also for innovators who are open to creating companies withprojects that have a positive impact.”

As part of the prize, the winners will be sponsored by Google to stay in Silicon Valley for a 10-week program with Singularity University from June 17–Aug 17.

Souffrant Ntim, who is also the founder of Vendedy, a web platform to connect travellers with street vendors around the world, says that the Caribbean people and the region stands to be rewarded long-term by technology initiatives like the open call and upcoming summit in Haiti.

“Caribbean entrepreneurs can benefit in that it is a free Google sponsored 10-week stay in Silicon Valley with the exposure to global influencers,” she said. “This is one step towards making the Caribbean a strong point of focus in the global tech ecosystem. A successful launch with Singularity will spark interest from other silicon valley based networks to invest in people from the Caribbean.”

She also saids that program winners will get the opportunity to learn about successful technology ideas and discover how to utilize devices such as robots, drones, and computer sciences to achieve them.

“It is an intense program and they will learn about powerful stories of people from around the world who leveraged technology to impact lives” said Souffrant Ntim. “They will also learn about the future technologies that one can use to change the world for the better.”

The Haiti Tech Summit will be the biggest technology event in the Caribbean to date. More than 100 speakers and about a thousand people are expected to attend, said Souffrant Ntim.

And as a country seeing many of these advances slowly coming to surface, Haiti was the perfect location choice to bring the summit, she said.

“Haiti’s tech ecosystem is emerging and Haiti presents itself as a global case study for economies of scale in a very unique way,” said Souffrant Ntim. “The event will benefit the Caribbean because it will truly transform global perceptions. This has never happened before and it will open doors to more programs of this caliber in the region.”

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimo[email protected]local.com.

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