April 26, 2016

Island Events: Caribbean Startup Summit

Selwyn Cambridge is a communications and branding specialist who has been dedicated to entrepreneurship and working with startups for more than 10 years. Selwyn and his co-founder Gregory Hinkson are the driving force behind the newly created regional Startup Community and Accelerator: TEN Habitat- An initiative helping to create a nurturing environment for the growth of entrepreneurs. He is also the co-founder of the Caribbean Startup Summit, a new event aimed at empowering regional startups. 

The Caribbean Startup Summit is a two day event for entrepreneurs in the Caribbean, taking place this Friday and Saturday (April 29th - 30th) . The event is focussed on covering every aspect of startups through master-classes, workshops, open forums, live linkups, pitches and Q&A sessions, thanks to an array of local and international business support services and experts. 

Selwyn has gathered together an amazing team of subject matter experts, global and local entrepreneurs to share key insights to building successful companies with startups and growth stage businesses. You can check out the impressive line up of speakers here.

Did I mention that tickets are only Bds$100 for both days? (This includes all workshops and master classes with coffee breaks and lunch included) Students can attend for only Bds$50. This makes it a lot easier for cash strapped start ups to attend and benefit from the experience.

I can't wait to see how this event will speak to my personal experience of starting and running a business in the Caribbean specifically. Too often, international workshops and events fail to meet the needs and challenges that we face as entrepreneurs in the region, and events end up being a 'whole lotta long talk', with little action. 

After being introduced through a mutual friend, I had the opportunity to meet Selwyn for a coffee and chat with him about his vision for the upcoming event and the plans that he has for the TEN Habitat network:

What inspired you to put together the Caribbean Start Up Summit?

Being an entrepreneur myself and working with many others for over ten years I have seen the struggle they go through to realise their dream and felt their passion to succeed. I knew we needed to do better than the traditional approach and felt more collaboration could go a far way in helping to empower startups [in the Caribbean] and expose them to global networks and support. So, instead of just talking, I decided to just do it and together with the co-founders and advisors to TEN Habitat we made the summit a reality. And this is just the first step! I just think we need better collaboration which puts the entrepreneur as the focus.

What can people expect to see at this event?

A totally immersive event that begins to engage attendees from the time they arrive. They will see business help boards where they can anonymously place questions on it and have others provide answers and panelists also provide answers in the open forums. The opportunity to have ANY startup question answered from a diverse panel. Opportunities to inspire others and leave your mark as a startup with engagement boards and live interviews to promote your startup and share your dreams to camera crews who then send your story across social media. And most importantly the launch of TEN Habitat, the Caribbean’s Startup Community that will change the game for regional entrepreneurs.

How is this event different from other Start Up events in the Caribbean?

This is a “ doers" conference and not another 'talk shop.'  

Our focus is on ensuring we create opportunities at every intervention for startups to learn something useful they can immediately implement in their venture and apply to their own ideas. So the master classes and workshops are short, intense and direct but more importantly it focuses on answering the questions of the entrepreneurs. So the majority is about getting burning questions answers, challenges addressed and solutions provided from the experiences of others who have gone through much of what every startup faces

Will there be any follow up after the event? 

Within two months after the completion of the Summit we will be staging a regional startup bootcamp with our global partners. Attending the summit will go a far way in helping you to attend the follow on event. There is so much more to come, that startups will be delighted at what is unveiled.

Will you be addressing entrepreneurship in the Caribbean specifically, and the challengs entrepreneurs are faced with?

This summit is all about entrepreneurship in the Caribbean and providing specific solutions for individual entrepreneurs to address those challenges they have control over. This is why we placed so much emphasis on bringing actual entrepreneurs to be speakers so they can talk the talk because they continue to walk the path. They will share personal stories of failure and triumph and solutions to issues they faced.

You can find out more about the event via the website and follow them on Facebook.


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