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Bring It Back To Beyond The Beach Series

Meet Latoya Richards Franklin, General Manager of the Caribbean Alternative Investment Association (CARAIA) in Kingston, Jamaica. A native of Kingston, Latoya has also worked as an economist in the highest levels of the Jamaican government, including in the office of the cabinet. In April, Latoya attended our inaugural Beyond the Beach event in Kingston, despite the fact that weekend conferences are not exactly popular in Jamaica. Luckily for us, she liked it. “Beyond the Beach was a remarkable event,” Latoya told us. A conversation she had at the opening reception with our founder, Martin Babinec, “allowed for an understanding of our unified mission to fuel the growth of our regional entrepreneurs, investors and key players in the alternative investment ecosystem.”

We partnered with Jamaican tech expert Ingrid Riley to create Beyond the Beach because we believe that, in order to succeed on a global scale, Caribbean entrepreneurs need more access to early-stage investment capital and connectivity to overseas business networks—particularly business networks in the United States. To this end, we used Beyond the Beach as a way to invite our accomplished attendees to collaborate with us on the Caribbean Seed Fund (CSF). 

Ingrid Riley and Latoya Richards Franklin

For Latoya, the programming at Beyond the Beach made for “a day of learning, deepened connections, and information sharing.” She came away from the event with insights on best practices in entrepreneurship, start-up ecosystems and investing from speakers like Greg Moran, exited entrepreneur and founder of Evergreen Mountain Equity Partners; Melissa Pegus, Managing Director of Tech Stars Atlanta; Kevin Cadette, founder of Black Angels Atlanta; and Nasir Ali, Partner at StartFast. Latoya was pleasantly surprised to be approached by entrepreneurs and other Jamaicans interested in partnering with CARAIA as well as receiving help from the organization. She was also pleased at the chance to meet Beyond the Beach co-organizer Ingrid Riley, telling us she enjoyed Ingrid’s “passion for her industry backed by the force she carries in bringing the collision of founders and investors across the Caribbean.”

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing more reflections and takeaways from Beyond the Beach participants, speakers and organizers in our Bringing it Back to Beyond the Beach series. Stay tuned! 

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