TechBeach Miami will connect the tech industry in Latin America and the Caribbean

TechBeach co-founders Kirk-Anthony Hamilton and Kyle Maloney welcome guests at the Tech and Entrepreneurship Conference at the Iberostar Hotel in St James’ Rose Hall.

and The city of Miami has become an emerging “hotbed” for investing in tech companies, and organizers of regional conference TechBeach Retreat will seek to attract investment in Caribbean tech startups in the region in their first in-person event in nearly three years.

The organization’s TechBeach Miami is scheduled for October 27-28, 2022 at The Confidante Miami Beach Hotel, with a private welcome on October 26. This is TechBeach Retreat’s first face-to-face gathering since the 2019 Iberostar Summit in Jamaica at the St. James Rose Hall hotel.

A press release from TechBeach Retreat outlines that the conference will be “founder-focused,” with topics around growing tech companies, raising capital and financing startups, product-to-market, scaling, and entrepreneurial storytelling.

Some of the scheduled speakers include founder and CEO of WiPay Aldwyn Wayne; Rohan Marley of Marley Coffee; Jeff Hoffman, founding CEO of Priceline.com, among others.

However, the main focus of the conference will be on how technology, digital solutions and new business models can drive economic growth and the integration of the Caribbean and Latin America. It is for this reason that organizers chose Miami, shared Kirk-Anthony Hamilton, co-founder of TechBeach Retreat.

“Miami is the hub that connects our islands…Miami is also Latin America’s gateway into the United States, and we have ambitions to create the most diverse conference in the world, merging the ecosystems of the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa and North America,” He says jamaica observer.

“It’s safe to say that the pandemic has brought good luck to Miami. The city has undergone a renaissance and over the past two years has been perhaps the most transformative city in the world. We’ve been keeping an eye on the tech side of things. Change with awe but always noticing a missing piece, Miami has become a hotbed for Latin American entities to come into the U.S., but no one talks about the Caribbean. We want to be that voice,” Hamilton added.

From mid-2020 to the end of 2021, hundreds of companies ranging from cryptocurrencies to digital marketing have set up shop in Miami, according to Investment Monitor. Companies in the city raised more than $970 million in venture capital last year, up from just $135 million in 2016.

Another firm, eMerge USA, estimates that South Florida City managed to attract $5.3 billion in investment in 2021, including a $250 million investment from global tech investment firm SoftBank.

In April, Miami was the host city for the Bitcoin 2022 conference.

As such, Hamilton said, TechBeach Miami’s goal is to “take advantage of Miami’s rich ecosystem in this regard.

“Most of the major tech companies are now represented in the city, and many VCs have moved to Miami, so we’re excited to bring all these groups to Miami,” he continued.

TechBeach Miami has received sponsorships from Flow Business, Amazon Web Services, Mana Group, CIC Miami, and more.

The conference will also be supported by IDB Lab – an arm of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) focused on driving innovation through finance, knowledge sharing and partnerships. In October 2020, IDB Labs and TechBeach Retreat signed a technical partnership agreement to accelerate collaborations from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago through mentoring, technical services, networking and connections to business opportunities and investors , 200 technology-driven businesses in Barbados and The Bahamas.

“IDB Lab is a foundational partner of our accelerator program, TBR Labs. They are with us…and support our work to provide opportunities for regional founders,” Hamilton told Caribbean Business Report.

With that in mind, more than 20 startups from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, Barbados and the Bahamas will have the opportunity to showcase their businesses at TechBeach Miami. After completing the TBR Labs program, Hamilton said entrepreneurs will be ready to approach investors as they seek to raise venture capital to scale their operations.

Given that Miami is home to a large Caribbean diaspora, TechBeach Retreat believes hosting events there will help reach out to the diaspora for investment.

“We’re always looking to engage with the diaspora. Miami is definitely a strategic base to drive that effort,” Hamilton noted, adding that Canadian-born Aire Ventures founder Leigh-Ann Buchanan, whose parents are Jamaican, has been encouraging organizational exploration Miami.

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