Disrupt. Innovate. Create

Disrupt. Innovate. Create. Admittedly those are not the first three words that come to mind when we think of our beautiful country Aruba. But soon that will change. In fact, if the new generation of local entrepreneurs and thought-leaders achieve their goal, Aruba will become the leading tech start-up hub in the Caribbean. And that time will come sooner than you’d think.

For years now, the country has been working towards developing the right environment for fostering entrepreneurs. With a new generation of entrepreneurs, the contours of a start-up ecosystem are starting to appear. Co-sharing workspaces, such as co.lab Workspace, are bustling with activity, Aruba’s first ever Hackathon was a major success and in August the island will host one of the most exciting conferences in the Caribbean: the ATECH* Conference. On the 28th and the 29th of August entrepreneurs, investors and key global players in the technology and start-up scene will gather to discuss the future of technology and showcase the latest and greatest trends in the industry. Oscar Kneppers, founder of Rockstart- the start-up acceleration company that builds formats to support start-ups in the first 100 days. Charles Bonello, co-founder of Grand Central Tech Accelerator- New York’s flagship technology accelerator. And Luke Ball, director at Start-up Chile. They are just a few of the many impressive speakers lined up for the conference.

Aruba is not alone in its endeavours. Cities all over the world- big and small- are pooling resources to nurture a start-up ecosystem. The reason is simple: start-up ecosystems boost a city’s economy through a snowball effect. A start-up ecosystem is most commonly defined as a system in which individuals, start-ups and various types of supporting organizations work together to create new start-ups. New start-ups mean (technological) innovation, job growth and community building. Although Sillicon Valley might still be the mecca of start-ups, there are many successful start-ups that have benefitted from a well-developed start-up ecosystem elsewhere. Remember the peer-to-peer file sharing program Kazaa? It was originally built by Estonian programmers and subsequently purchased by Niklas Zennstrom from Sweden and Janus Friis from Denmark, who later set out to build Skype. The idea of Aruba being the leading start-up hub in the Caribbean might not be so farfetched.

It might also become a reality much sooner than you’d think. ATECH* is not only proof that a start-up ecosystem exists in Aruba, the initiative also brings about the much desired snowball effect. In the months leading up to the conference, a breeding ground for emerging start-ups was created through events that supported entrepreneurs and that brought together idea generators, project managers and investors. International accelerators and investors will be introduced to Aruba through the ATECH*Conference, giving local and regional start-ups access to the brightest minds in the industries. ATECH* will also co-create educational programs that promote innovation, engineering, technology and entrepreneurship and will facilitate a platform through which knowledge can be shared locally, regionally as well as internationally. But the main advantage of Aruba as a backdrop for tech start-ups around the world remains its beautiful beaches, delicious cuisine and friendly people. Now that is an environment conducive to generating great ideas!

Buy your tickets now!

Can’t wait to disrupt, innovate and create? Buy your ATECH* Conference ticket now, www.atechconference.com/tickets.