National News

Tech Beach Engine Propels MD Link, Tech Startups In The Caribbean Region

Founder and CEO, MD Link, Che Bowen and IDB Lab CEO, Irene Arias Hoffman at the 2019 staging of Tech Beach Retreat in Jamaica
Founder and CEO, MD Link, Che Bowen and IDB Lab CEO, Irene Arias Hoffman at the 2019 staging of Tech Beach Retreat in Jamaica

[Kingston, Jamaica] – The ongoing challenges faced by the Caribbean region due to the COVID-19 global pandemic as well as a record number of intense weather systems has precipitated a widespread need for technological solutions.

This will propel businesses to not only survive, but thrive in a global economy surrounding innovation that will allow businesses to function remotely.

Enter the Tech Beach Retreat (TBR) Lab

During the recently launched TBR Lab, Tech Beach Co-founders, Kirk-Anthony Hamilton and Kyle Maloney, introduced the TBR Lab as another element that will further enhance the experience for tech startups and potential investors who are interested in developing the region’s tech industry.

While TBR Lab was not initiated as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the eight-week curriculum offers valuable resources for the region’s tech industry and adaptation to the world’s evolving digital economy.

The IDB and DMZ partnership programme can be described as a natural evolution of the four-year old Tech Beach digital movement, as it will take the conversation toward “empowering the next generation of technologists and entrepreneurs to catapult their ideas and lead the future”.

According to Forbes.com, the global startup economy in 2019 was valued at close to $3 trillion – not a small sum as this is equivalent to the GDP of a G7 country.

What does this look like globally?

According to a report from the 2019 Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER) released by the Startup Genome and the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), there are over 50 regions in the world who have upwards of $4 billion in ecosystem value.

Back in the dot com era two decades ago, there were only four regions with that value. This exponential growth can be attributed to the increased connectivity and transfer of knowledge taking place around the world – fuelled by the same technological innovation that benefits from its own success.

Hamilton and Maloney believe the Caribbean is poised to join the ranks of these high value ecosystems thanks to its strategic geographical positioning with Silicon Valley and its cache of tech talent waiting to be nurtured and developed.

The Caribbean tech startup ecosystem’s strategic positioning gives it a strong advantage that can be leveraged to the region’s benefit if the right players are engaged who can provide the funding and technical support necessary for success and growth.

Former Tech Beach alums have gone on to deliver world class services underpinned by the technological innovation developed as a result of their participation at the annual Tech Beach Retreat.

MD Link Revolutionizes Telemedicine in Jamaica 

This includes MD Link Founder and CEO, Che Bowen, who has revolutionised telemedicine in Jamaica and the region. Recently, he and his team launched a COVID-19 screening app that can be used for pre-test risk assessment.

The screening app was funded through a grant from IDB Lab, an organization the founder was able to connect with at Tech Beach. MD Link is now growing at a rapid pace with over 500 doctors on the platform and 25,000 registrants.

Scaling a tech platform is no easy task and Bowen credits Tech Beach’s network and programs as key supporters of MD Link’s success, including a partnership with Flow, which was also birthed through Tech Beach.

“I have been to a few Tech Beach events and they have all been very beneficial to me and my company. Tech Beach is like a family so everyone is accessible; if you see the Twitter CEO there you can easily walk up to him and have a conversation… From participating in the programme, I was able to have a global mentor from a tele-health startup in the United States who has been guiding me on how to grow the company in the region,” asserted Bowen.

Regional Founders like Bowen, find value in Tech Beach as their innovations often lack benchmarks in the Caribbean, accessing people who can offer them blueprints to success is considered a sought after benefit of the community.

The MD Link CEO added: “[Through Tech Beach Retreat] I’ve also made connections with global entrepreneurs in other areas outside of tele-health that have been a great help to opening doors and opportunities for me as an entrepreneur. I look forward to every staging because I get to learn directly from some of the most brilliant minds in the world, grow my network to a global scale and that helps me to stay up to date with the latest trends and best business strategies.”

Hamilton and Maloney, believe that the curriculum of TBR Lab will bring forth another level of enterprise for entrepreneurs in the areas of Product Development; Customer Satisfaction; Business Development; Corporate Partnerships, Raising Capital and Scaling a Tech Enterprise.

According to Hamilton; “With Tech Beach Retreat and TBR Lab, we want to change people’s thinking about what a retreat is. Tech Beach has never been about collecting business cards; it’s about providing access and creating real impact in the space. Thanks to our partnership with the IDB and DMZ we can use our multi-medium platform to bridge people and organisations positioned to evolve through technology with the TBR Lab roadmap, resources and skills to help them excel.”

Hamilton added: “With the launch of the TBR Lab, Kyle and myself hope to bring a global ecosystem to the Caribbean that will build bridges that yield increased investment, partnership and mentorship; spurring an entrepreneurship and innovation revolution in the region.”

2021 TBR Lab

The 2021 TBR Lab commences in Jamaica in March. The programme will grant participants individual access to over USD$500,00 in exclusive benefits from Google Launchpad, Shopify, Hubspot, Stripe and Amazon Web Services; as well as access to Fortune 500 corporate executives, successful tech entrepreneurs, influencers, professionals, advisors, partners and technological talent.

 

Related Articles

Back to top button