It's fascinating how a thoughtfully curated group of individuals can have the same impact as hundreds, or even thousands. This was precisely the vision behind Beyond the Beach, a transformative event we recently hosted in the vibrant city of Kingston, Jamaica. In this blog post, we will explore the historical significance of our very first Beyond the Beach, and its mission to unite investors and thought leaders to accelerate entrepreneurship throughout the Caribbean.
The Birth of Beyond the Beach
Just four months ago, the foundation was laid for an extraordinary event designed to bring together Jamaican and US investors, entrepreneurs, non-profits, and leaders. The goal was to create a highly curated group that would fuel collaboration and innovation in the Caribbean. Beyond the Beach aimed to transcend the boundaries of traditional networking events and become a catalyst for real change.
For those who attended, Beyond the Beach left an indelible mark. The event featured a lineup of exceptional speakers who shared their insights and experiences.
- Audrey Richards from the Development Bank of Jamaica provided a snapshot of the current startup landscape and discussed prospects.
- Melissa Pegus from Tech Stars Atlanta shed light on the significance of a community-driven ecosystem.
- Nasir Ali, drawing from his experience in Upstate New York, shared wisdom on what a member-managed seed fund can achieve.
- Ingrid Riley captivated the audience with her talk on the Caribbean tech scene, emphasizing the transformative power of a decade.
In addition to the inspiring speeches, the event hosted a pitch platform where four outstanding startups showcased their potential. These startups caught the attention of numerous US-based investors, fostering exciting opportunities for collaboration. Attendees also had the pleasure of savoring a Nouveau Jamaican feast prepared by one of the country's most talented chefs at the historic Devon House.
Big Steps Towards Positive Change
On Saturday, EAB Founder, Martin Babinec, shared the compelling story of his 15-year journey, where he started as a struggling entrepreneur and developed into a Silicon Valley icon and celebrated philanthropist. Martin then announced there were efforts underway to form a new entrepreneurial funding mechanism, The Caribbean Seed Fund, which would mark a significant step in fostering entrepreneurial growth in the region. Beyond the Beach also became the birthplace of new and exciting relationships between leaders and innovators in the Caribbean and the U.S.
Beyond the Event
If you missed out on Beyond the Beach, there's no need to fret. We are working on sharing videos of the presentations and highlights on our YouTube channel. However, the journey does not end there. We invite you to join us on our mission to identify, curate, and connect emerging entrepreneurs in developing nations with seasoned entrepreneurs. Our goal is to help these entrepreneurs take the next steps in their journey.
Now It’s Your Turn
EAB is actively seeking volunteers to assist with future events, communications, graphic design, and various other roles. We believe there is a place for everyone who wants to lend a helping hand. Additionally, we welcome donations to support scholarships for entrepreneurs, cover the overhead costs of future events and professional development experiences, and fund the development of our EAB Connect software platform, which will connect investors and entrepreneurs from all over the world.
We’re so grateful for the experience of Beyond the Beach – from the people to the location, to the innovative ideas and catalytic energy we generated, Beyond the Beach will always be regarded as the first of many big steps toward achieving our mission to identify, curate and connect entrepreneurs from all over the world.