This week on Bringing it Back to Beyond the Beach, a series where we catch up with the organizers, attendees and speakers from our April 28th and 29th conference in Kingston, Jamaica, we talked to Kelz Bethel. Kelz is a Trinidad and Tobago native and serial entrepreneur who is the co-founder and CEO of Recess, an app that works to combat mental health issues in the workplace that have cost the global economy billions of dollars in productivity. Kelz came to Beyond the Beach to pitch her business as well as to see: “what’s next for the [entrepreneurial] ecosystem in Jamaica..I expected to hear from investors and ecosystem builders who are interested in the growth of the Caribbean tech ecosystem and I got just that.”
Kelz described pitching Recess to Beyond the Beach’s panel of tech experts—including Melissa Pegus, Managing Director of Techstars Atlanta—as an “awesome and validating” experience. Although Recess is Kelz’s third startup, the very nature of her business —in which she must convey her passion for the mental health space— necessitates that she “lead with vulnerability and a personal story” when pitching. Kelz found her fellow participants to be a welcoming group, telling us: “being able to share our company’s vision and journey at Beyond the Beach with a group of genuine investors and builders quickly put me at ease.” There was definitely something special about Beyond the Beach: “The positivity and the passion flowed. This was different than many spaces I have been in. Typically there is more of a disconnected nature to networking events. People are usually focused on pitching and selling themselves more than actually connecting and helping.”
Kelz came away from Beyond the Beach with more than an appreciation for having connected with a group of like-minded people. As she told us, she received actionable advice from our panel of experts as well as from the other participants that has “really made a difference” to Recess in the last few months. Specifically, Recess has evolved in how they measure improvements made on their app and how that progress is quantified, packaged and communicated to prospective business customers.
Engaging and providing value to entrepreneurs like Kelz is at the heart of EAB, and our work has only just begun. Want to help us? Find out how here.
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