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TechBeach Retreat, the Caribbean tech platform connecting the Caribbean with the global tech ecosystem, is launching TBR Lab, an accelerator program to support Caribbean corporations, governments, and tech entrepreneurs and to connect global investors with local talent.
“The Caribbean region is incredibly rich in skilled developers and potential tech visionaries. Now that working remotely is the norm, tech startups on the mainland can tap this wealth of resources by connecting through our accelerator program,” says Kirk-Anthony Hamilton, Co-Founder of TechBeach Retreat.
The TechBeach Retreat platform brings together tech industry professionals from all over the world to make international connections, and to promote Jamaica and its neighbors as tech hotspots.
“TBR Lab arrives at a time when the Caribbean is already focusing on driving digital transformation,” says TechBeach Retreat co-founder, Kyle Maloney. “Education, along with connections to global tech brands and experts, is creating the foundation for exponential growth. TBR Lab is the catalyst to spark that growth into ignition.”
More and more remote workers are migrating to places where the cost of living is lower and the quality of life is higher. The Caribbean region has exacted globally lauded responses to COVID-19, most notably in Jamaica, where officials were able to reopen borders early. Nations like Barbados are offering extended remote work visas, allowing laptop workers to stay for up to a year. This has seen the migration of Silicon Valley executives to the region to work remotely.
TechBeach partnered with IDB Lab to create the two-year program in four Caribbean nations: Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, and the Bahamas. The USD $4 million project, seeded with $1 million from IDB Lab, will upskill 5,000 professionals, equip 500 SMEs with digital skills, immerse 250 executive and government leaders, and accelerate 250 tech startups to prime them for investments. The ultimate goal is to generate at least 10 stars of the new tech startup scene. The platform is also partnered with the DMZ, the number one accelerator in the world, to bring a wealth of global resources, knowledge, and relationships to support the growth of technology and innovation-focused enterprises in the Caribbean at scale.
“While many countries have attempted to bridge the digital gap, existing policies, workforce, and infrastructure in the region remain deficient. The regional private sector is at a competitive disadvantage as they continue to operate in a relatively low-tech, high-cost environment, which is constraining growth potential and economic prosperity,” says Therese Turner-Jones, IDB Jamaica’s country representative and general manager for the Caribbean Country Group. “Cutting-edge technology will be essential to navigating the new normal and the delivery of products and services. It will also make businesses more efficient, cost-effective, productive, and profitable.”
The program has garnered support both domestically and abroad. TBR Lab’s Advisory Board members include Marlon Nichols, Annie Jean-Baptiste, Kome Emuh, Michael Montano, and Jenny Fielding, among others.
Main Image: Premier of Bermuda, Hon. E. David Burt (middle) with Tech Beach Co-Founders Kirk-Anthony Hamilton (left) and Kyle Maloney (right) at TechBeach Retreat, Bermud