June 24, 2019 [Port au Prince, Haiti] Haiti Tech Summit concludes with another successful global event hosted at Royal Decameron Beach Resort. Haiti Tech Summit, founded by Forbes 30 Under 30 Entrepreneur, Mother and Wife, Christine Souffrant Ntim, is a 13- year initiative of the Global Startup Ecosystem (GSE) which brings together hundreds of entrepreneurs, investors, digital marketers and creatives together to Haiti to accelerate tech, innovation and economic development within the country. The aim is to turn Haiti into the world’s next major tech innovation hub by 2030.
In 2017, Haiti hosted 100 global speakers from around the world with headline speaker Ben Horowitz, the President of Haiti, Artists J Perry & Micheal Brun, Celebrity Vicky Jeudy from Orange is the New Black, and senior VPs from Airbnb, Facebook, Paypal, Mastercard, and more. The summit generated over 83 million social media impressions, 87 global press mentions and welcomed over 500 guests for 2 historic days turning it into the region’s largest tech gathering and Haiti’s first major international global summit.The summit returned in 2018 with 100 global speakers and 750 guests with the addition of Haiti Tech Week featuring headline keynote – Jack Dorsey-founder of Twitter and Square. The President- His Excellency Jovenel Moise- provided keynotes at each summit.
The summit returned for the 3rd annual edition on June 20-22nd during an politically unstable time in Haiti’s recent history. Headline speaker was Tom Davis- Chief Marketing Officer of Forbes Magazine. Other top speakers included Cody Simms Partner at Techstars, Carlos Sanvee- Global Secretary General at the YMCA, Daraiha Greene- Global Head of Strategic Partnerships, Google, Ty Heathe- Global Lead for Agency and Partner Education at LinkedIn and the President of LinkedIn’s Black Inclusion Group (BIG), Jana Landon HBCU Outreach Specialist at Google, Inc, Minister Bocchit Edmond from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, US Ambassador Michele Sission, Jon Piechowski, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Diplomacy in the Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, and many more.
Thanks to the following sponsors- (Platinum Sponsor) Global Startup Ecosystem, US Embassy of Port au Prince, (Gold Sponsors) Royal Decameron Beach Resort, Hope for Haiti, (Silver Sponsors) United Nations Foundation , Catholic Relief Services, 360 Insights, (Bronze Sponsors) Mastercard, Linkedin, Forbes8, Github, Access Haiti, Facebook developer circles, and Hertz.
For 2019, the summit executed several major opportunities for entrepreneurs:
- US Embassy sponsorship of 30 entrepreneurs from across the Caribbean: U.S. Embassy is supported the participation of 15 Young Leaders of the Americas (YLAI) Caribbean entrepreneurs and 15 local entrepreneurs in the Summit, and 10 innovators from throughout the Caribbean (Barbados, Trinidad, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, St.Kitts, and Haiti).
- Forbes 8 Pitch Competition in partnership The Forbes8 mission is to help entrepreneurs worldwide be more successful. We know that the number one challenge facing entrepreneurs today is access to Capital, and the Forbes8 team are committed to giving back to entrepreneurs and helping in practical, and creative ways. Just for Haiti Tech Summit attendees, Forbes8 will be gifting over $5K in the next 12 months and will also choose a Perfect Pitcher at the summit – who will receive an on-the-spot $1.5K cash prize. The winner of the 2019 Haiti Tech Summit Forbes 8 Prize was Mackendy Smith- Owner of Mak pa nou (Handmade sandals production).
- Mastercard powers Haiti Tech Week: On the week of the 17th June 2019, Haiti like other tech hubs, had its official tech week series. Launched last year to train and develop the tech ecosystem of Haiti – this year the program has expanded in scope. Haiti Tech Week returned for 2019 in partnership with Mastercard to host 3 free programs which included the 2nd Annual Women’s Pioneers Summit, the 1st Annual Human Resources & Future of Work Summit:, and the 3rd Annual Smart City Future Tech Summit. Banj hosted several events including the Digital Marketing skills and Productivity tools from Google workshop and a Founders Lab in partnership with Google Launchpad; Rebrand Haiti with Rebrand Cities which brought 30 non-tech SME’s; Startup Grind Port au Prince featuring Johnson Napoleon. The YMCA hosted a Recruitment and Researching session with speaker Christine Ntim.
- Hope for Haiti offers $15k sponsorship to all 15 local companies sponsored to attend Haiti Tech Summit. This cash sponsorship is a $1k grant for each company to support the startups.
The critical factor that made Haiti Tech Summit 2019 a major historic edition was its ability to introduce security protocol measures in Haiti for international events. On June 10th- immediately after the surge of increased protests and political unrest, the Haiti Tech Summit launched a series of security protocols that ensured the safe transport and management of event participants. The summit re-affirmed its 13 year commitment to Haiti. The message was meant to be made as a point of transparency not a point of concern to all of the stakeholders who love, respect and believe in the Haiti Tech Summit mission.
The security protocols titled “Access Haiti Tech Summit by Land, by Air, by sea” was a strong logistical framework to transport participants by land via police escorted shuttle line ups, by air via hourly scheduled helicopter rides and by sea via port to port transfer of participants by boat. The announcement created a huge surge of credibility but also a huge surge of cancellations as the summit organizers chose transparency and credibility. Furthermore, the summit location at Royal Decameron Beach Resort positioned it to be a safe and credible environment for a summit of this size. Haiti Tech Summit chose Royal Decameron for the first 3 years of the 13 year initiative due to its reliable staff, reputation and committed contributions to providing a better representation of Haiti.
It was the first time that a scheduled event of this size was not postponed or cancelled despite political unrest. The Haiti Tech Summit team believes the country requires the courage, commitment and consistency of all stakeholders and is proud to have achieve these 3 pillars in 2019 in partnership with Royal Decameron Beach Resort.
About Haiti Tech Summit: Haiti Tech Summit brings together thousands of entrepreneurs, investors, celebrities and creatives under one roof together to address humanity’s greatest challenges via tech and entrepreneurship. It is a part of a 13-year initiative to turn Haiti into an international tech hub by 2030. Deemed the “Davos of the Caribbean”, Haiti Tech Summit has welcomed keynote speakers such as Jack Dorsey-founder of Twitter, President of Haiti- Jovenel Moise, Ben Horowitz- Investor in Facebook, etc.