Creating Social Value Blog / Social Innovation

Babson Community at First Annual Haiti Tech Summit

On June 6th, on the crystal blue shores of Haiti’s Cotes des Arcadins, a group of young Haitians living abroad joined forces with young Haitians locally to host the first and largest global tech event in the history of the Caribbean: The Haiti Tech Summit. An initiative of the Global Startup Ecosystem, the Haiti Tech Summit came to life with support from small and big businesses, local and international organizations, and the Haitian government. The two-day event drew over 500 participants including Haitian locals, the diaspora, and an international community of influencers and learners interested in transforming the world through entrepreneurship.

Silicon Valley Tech companies such as Google, Facebook, AirBnB, and LinkedIn were among the headline attendees. Among the notable speakers were Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse, Haitian celebrity actress Vicky Jeudy who stars in the Netflix series Orange is the New Black, and renowned venture capitalist Ben Horowitz. Also among the speakers were several Babson alumni and members of Babson administration.

Carolina Piña, Director of Babson’s WIN Lab Miami shared her experiences and insights during the “Accelerating Breakthroughs” panel. Yulkendy Valdez ‘17 was featured as a spotlight entrepreneur and shared her story on the making of her latest venture: Project 99. Rebecca Obounou MBA’ 17 spoke about the work of her nonprofit organization, CHES, Inc, on the “Education for Innovation” panel. Shaina Silva ‘08, one of the Summit’s organizers, spoke about trends in global entrepreneurship, and specifically brought into focus the West African region where she currently is working with the government and private sector to strengthen the startup ecosystem.

In the coming months, we’ll be sharing perspectives from Shaina and Rebecca on their experiences at the Summit. Learn more about the organization and the upcoming 2018 gathering here.