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  • June 16, 2023 5:58 AM | Anonymous

    There is a reason people say: “It’s not about what you know, but who you know.” So often, the most successful entrepreneurs can point to pivotal moments in their company’s lifecycle where key individuals opened new doors of opportunity. Whether it’s introductions to key partners, clients, talent, or investors, these social and professional connections scaffold a company’s growth, especially in the early years.  

    The U.S. is home to some of the biggest and most disruptive companies in the world: Apple, Amazon, Google, IBM, Meta, Pfizer, and SpaceX – to name just a few. This isn’t by chance – the U.S. has several key mechanisms in place to facilitate business connections and grow startup companies. For one, the U.S. has a culture of innovation that underscores much of its business-building infrastructure. Organizations designed to accelerate business development like chambers of commerce, business accelerator spaces, co-working facilities, and other business cooperatives can be found in U.S. cities both big and small. There is also a large venture capital ecosystem in place, which means startups can often find alternative funding sources in lieu of, or in addition to, bank loans. In addition, there are government incentive programs, business “bootcamps” and dizzying array of other resources that make the U.S. one of the best places to start a business.

    Unfortunately, these resources aren’t available everywhere.

    Entrepreneurs in developing nations often struggle to make those key connections that would otherwise afford them some much-needed mobility. The infrastructure to support successful startups just isn’t in place, despite the incredible untapped talent and innovation that can be found among the populace.

    That's why we're excited to introduce our newest project: EAB Connect – the world’s first online network designed to connect entrepreneurs in emerging economies with experienced entrepreneurs and investors from around the world. Working with one of our biggest partners, Food for the Poor, Entrepreneurs Across Borders is developing its own disruptive technology to catalyze new business in communities across the globe, helping under-resourced innovators access and leverage new connections and investment opportunities to get their businesses off the ground.

    Join EAB Connect

    We are in the process of assembling our innovation team. If you are an investor, entrepreneur, or a business development professional, please consider signing up for our newsletter below. As we begin to conduct market research and beta testing for our new EAB Connect platform, we’ll want your help in assessing the technology before it goes to market. Additionally, we need to build what we’re calling our Global Impact Network: a group of investment leaders and entrepreneurs from all over the world who would like to work together to launch high-impact startups in emerging economies.



    With the launch of EAB Connect, Entrepreneurs Across Borders will be leveraging the power of technology to transform communities across the globe. Together, we’re changing the world for the better. Join us today!

  • June 02, 2023 6:13 AM | Anonymous

    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.

    Memorable Moments
    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.

  • May 15, 2023 10:16 AM | Anonymous

    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.”

    From Left: Ingrid Riley, Latoya Richards Franklin

    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). 

    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! 

    Interested in attending our future events? Sign up for our email newsletter here and stay connected.

    We want to keep growing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Jamaica but we need your help. Learn more about Entrepreneurs Across Borders here

     #Entrepreneurship #Beyondthebeach #Jamaica

  • May 11, 2023 2:35 PM | Anonymous
    With the passing of our first ever EAB Event, Beyond the Beach, we are looking forward to future events. Here’s a couple coming up that you will for sure want to keep in the loop about:

    Caribbean Seed Fund Meeting

    As we are still in an exploratory phase for the Caribbean Seed Fund it is imperative that we start to coalesce, a group of like minded individuals who would be willing to setup and help lead an effort like this. Leaders in funds structured like the Caribbean Seed Fund get to learn an additional set of skills that average fund members sometimes lack. They typically also get a slightly higher carry. In the coming weeks the Caribbean Seed Fund will be hosting a meeting for those interested in learning more about how a member managed seed fund works, what roles there are to be filled, and ask any questions they might have. We will have more on our events page when this meeting is put on the calendar.

    Beyond the Beach Fall Event

    We are in the early stages of formulating another incredible event in Jamaica. Our first Beyond the Beach event was in Kingston, by invitation only and was focused on starting the relationships between Jamaican investors and startups and US based investors and connectors who want to collaborate with their Jamaican counter-parts. Our fall event is going to be even better…while we can’t say too much yet, imagine a weekend in Montego Bay where a whole host of highly successful entrepreneurs    from the US were to spend an entire weekend connecting with and mentoring entrepreneurs from across Jamaica and even the breadth of the Caribbean!

    Want to keep up on all of our upcoming events? Make sure you are subscribed to our monthly newsletter!
  • December 12, 2022 7:44 PM | Anonymous
         There is a certain smell that attacks my senses when I step off of the plane at Norman Manley International Airport. This combined scent of flowers, honey, humidity, and heat. reminds me of the first time I visited this magical place called Jamaica. In December of 2022, I arrived in Kingston with the founder of Entrepreneurs Across Borders (EAB), Martin Babinec. I wasn’t even officially working for EAB yet, but Martin had invited me along on a five day trip that, in retrospect, was his way of helping me see the potential that lies in the Caribbean.

         Much to my delight, Martin likes to keep a schedule similar to how I plan these types of trips; back to back to back meetings! From those first few meetings, I realized that the spirit of entrepreneurship is rampant in the psyche of Jamaicans. And I mean rampant. Jamaicans have an entrepreneurial ethos unlike any place I have ever been. From cab drivers, to waitresses, to business people, nearly everyone has a side-hustle, or a startup.

         As the day went on, our meetings taught me something else: There is a thriving community of people in Jamaica who are working hard to bring about economic prosperity and financial uplift to the country. This delighted me as I have worked around the US in under-served markets, where, there is a sense of waiting around for change to happen. The people we encountered on that first day in Jamaica were all working to bring opportunity to a broader group of people than those you would typically find in a start-up ecosystem in America. From tech entrepreneurs, to those starting charity based organizations, to economists, they were seemingly all playing a part in the development of Jamaica’s economy.

        By the end of our first day, we found a new team member who wanted to join us in starting a venture fund and we had an offer from our first investor in that fund. We also started talks for a partnership with two existing organizations that would help further the mission of EAB.
    Not bad for the first day!

    Not bad for the first day!

        The next morning we met with members of the Food For the Poor team to discuss work that we could be doing together. We discussed a number of possibilities outside of the traditional programming of Food For the Poor such as economic development, entrepreneurship and others. Our group hopped in a bus to tour a site on the North Coast where we may be doing some work together in the future (more to come on that in a future post). On the ride there a new idea was born out of thin air: What if there was a software platform that emerging entrepreneurs could utilize to assess where they are in their entrepreneurial journey as well as get them connected to the resources they need to take next steps? We would later name this joint project between EAB and Food for the Poor, “EAB Connect.”

         We spent the last two days of the trip attending a tech conference in Montego Bay, where I met startup founders from across the Caribbean. FinTech, Energy, SAAS, Data Analytics…You name the industry, there were people there working on incredibly interesting companies and innovations.

    Here are the my takeaways from my first trip to Jamaica:

    • There is a culture of entrepreneurship in Jamaica that is unlike anywhere I have traveled before.
    • Jamaicans are industrious. They don't shy away from hard work.
    • Jamaica is ripe to lead the Caribbean in an explosion of startup activity.
    • Many have gone before us in laying this groundwork. From Ingrid Riley, to Tech Beach to First Angels Jamaica, to Development Bank of Jamaica and IDB, the current climate has been years in the making.

       One final thought: I am excited and honored to play a part in connecting emerging entrepreneurs in developing nations to their seasoned counterparts in more developed markets. To quote Martin Babinec, “Jamaica is uniquely suited for the EAB pilot program,” and I have to agree!

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