RECOVERY DRIVER Kirk-Anthony Hamilton
Microsoft & Tech Beach drive recoveryWednesday, April 21, 2021
Microsoft has partnered with Tech Beach to launch its Digital Native Companies (DNC) programme in the Caribbean, which seeks to enable local entrepreneurs to access the technology and support required to develop their business model in the cloud and expand globally.
“Microsoft is one of the companies that underpins the Internet and we've always had a desire to have them involved in the Tech Beach ecosystem,” said Tech Beach Retreat (TBR) co-founder Kirk-Anthony Hamilton.
“Now, through their Digital Natives programme, we'll be able to help tip the scale in favour of regional start-ups and grant them access to the special tools and skill sets entrepreneurs elsewhere in the world are able to access with ease.”
With a focus on advising, monitoring and supporting small and medium-sized technology-based companies, DNC is expected to benefit the regional SMEs' ecosystem and generate new market opportunities for start-ups throughout the region.
This partnership has come at a time when industries such as construction, pharmaceuticals, medical technology equipment, and agriculture have recovered to pre-pandemic levels as of the first quarter of 2021, while their less fortunate counterparts in the retail, manufacturing, extractives, hospitality and tourism industries will take longer. Participants heard this conclusion at a virtual event hosted by TBR and Microsoft on March 30, which focused on the digitisation and investment in technology that will fuel the Caribbean's post-pandemic recovery.
The event discussed the study's findings as outlined in “Roadmap to Economic Recovery: The Caribbean”, which sought to analyse the impact of COVID-19 on industries in different Caribbean countries. The survey, conducted by market intelligence and advisory firm FrontierView and commissioned by Microsoft, sought to plan for the region's economic growth and recovery.
Microsoft and FrontierView's findings indicated that sustainable growth is within grasp for all businesses that pursue digital transformation. The study also provided detailed recommendations on the types of technology-specific sectors to ensure success, from transformative investments to productivity and cash-generation solutions. “In the Caribbean, we are facing a growing technological need to transform businesses and boost economic recovery. It is time to help digital companies from their launch as small start-ups to their journey to become high-profitable companies, reaching a global scale and having a large impact on the economy. These companies will be the main sources for the development of local and specialised solutions in Latin America and the Caribbean, with the support of Microsoft technology,” commented Wilson Pais, director of Digital Companies for Microsoft Latin America States.
Tech Beach and Microsoft recognised that start-ups are in a position to lead an innovation-driven recovery across the Caribbean and used the opportunity to advise entities on making the right moves during the pandemic to assure their success in a post-COVID-19 world.
“These kinds of insights are typically reserved for large corporations, providing them with a data driven edge to success, while start-ups often start out navigating the world based on gut feeling and a vision. At Tech Beach we believe start-ups should be a major part of the Caribbean's recovery story and we're happy to know that a company like Microsoft shares this sentiment and saw it fit to address this group directly,” said TBR's Hamilton.
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