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New meet up for Caribbean tech lovers

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Calling all lovers of technology — followers of Apple or Android, coders, and other innovators are welcome to occupy the same space for a meeting of like-mindedness.

Created by Georgie-Ann Getton, a self-taught coder, a new meet up group invites tech wizards of Caribbean descent to network, learn, and most importantly grow their ideas in a positive space.

“There’s a lot of different niche tech groups, Blacks in tech, Latinos in tech — there’s so many different tech groups and I went search for if there was any Caribbean in tech groups and saw none,” Getton, who is Jamaican, said.

A member of various tech groups, Getton believed that a Caribbean in tech meet up would be beneficial as it would encourage an environment to where their shared Caribbean heritage could influence ways to impact their communities locally and abroad.

Getton also views the meet up group as a springboard to foster new innovations, setting the example for the Caribbean community to follow.

“I felt like that would be beneficial especially because the Caribbean as a whole I feel is a lot more behind than it should be. Not saying that things aren’t happening but it could be at a faster pace — that just takes us collaborating wherever we are all over the world in order to help our home countries,” Getton said.

Taj Richards, an attendee of the most recent meet up said, “My own goals are related to fostering the involvement of more Caribbean youth in technology and engineering so that they can learn how to use those schools of thought to solve problems in their immediate communities. But for that to happen, they have to see clear examples of struggles and successes as far as Caribbean entrepreneurs, technologists and engineers.”

Getton began hosting the meet ups earlier this year in May and has since strived to hosting the event monthly. At the last meeting, Getton allowed for three innovators to pitch their ideas.

“Two people had power points and one person his company was food based so he did a demo of the food that they make,” Getton explained. “After the power points it was open up questions if anybody had any ideas about the structure of how the business worked etc. It was incredible feedback that was given. Everybody had at least one question.”

Jason John, owner of Plant Based for You Inc. — a plant based food company — presented his company to the intimate audience. Providing a tasting of a raw plantain salad, John was appreciative of the feedback he received to better his business.

“I loved the feedback, I just wanted to keep my ears open, be open to different ideas business wise and how we can expand our business, make more profits, and how we can build reputation as well,” John, who is Guyanese American, said.

Malcolm Paul, another attendee of the event said, “They were really good presentations and they listened to feedback which is really hard to do when you’re presenting your baby to everybody else.”

With just a few meet ups under her belt, all in attendance agree that this event is important to encouraging the Caribbean community to become more involved within the tech sector.

Ultimately, these meetings are building a sense of community to help foster new innovations within the Caribbean community that can be made applicable globally.

“I think with small things like the Caribbean in tech meet up that can grow into bigger Caribbean in tech demos, or African and Latino tech demos in general, can help us build our economy. That way, we can start making better decisions politically, financially, etc.,” John said.

“Entreprene­urship and technology are intertwining a lot more and just so we can have a place to share our ideas, help each other out and in the long term give back to the Caribbean with the technological advances we’ll be coming across,” Getton added.

Caribbean in Tech Meet Up (266 West 37 Street between Eighth and Seventh avenues in Manhattan, georgiebehumble@gmail.com) Nov. 4. Free.

Reach reporter Alley Olivier at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at aolivier@cnglocal.com. Follow Alley on Twitter @All3Y_B.

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