Techweek spent 3 days in Havana, Cuba with 65 executives as the First American Tech Delegation with participants from US, Mexico and the UK. We visited numerous iconic sites such as Hotel Nacional, the Old City, Belles Art Museum, Museum of Revolution, etc. There were two days of content the first was split across the morning and the afternoon. We began with a presentation from a private housing rights specialists, Pedro Vazquez Rodriguez and a Cuban economist Professor, Juan Triana Barros.
We then proceeded to an Open Forum to facilitate a cultural exchange between Cuban technologists and American entrepreneurs. During the Open Forum, representatives from the Office of Patrimony spoke about how they are leveraging technology to preserve the history and culture of Cuba.
The second day our content was focused around the American Embassy, charge d’affaires Jeffrey DeLaurentis was present and escorted us through the Embassy itself. There was a debrief on the current challenges within Cuba and the recent advancements made in Cuban-American relations.
In terms of challenges, Cuba suffers from a rapidly aging population, low birth rates, and a significant brain drain with many Cubans leaving Cuba through Central America. The US and Cuba have made great strides in working together towards common and pragmatic goals including agreements to preserve the environmental ecosystem, official scheduled air services, which provided an incredibly helpful and insightful backdrop on the State of Cuba for us to understand the larger picture.
“Entrepreneurs were inspired to re-evaluate how everyday constraints can be a source for innovation. No obstacle cannot be overcome,” said Megan Scharf, Director of Communications
Blake Miller, Managing Partner at Thing Big Partners who attended trip said, “Techweek Havana was one of the most significant and transformative experiences I’ve ever had. Being able to connect closely with the Cuban people and learn about how they go about solving the problems they face on a daily basis (in their own innovative way) was simply priceless.”
“At Techweek, we’re all about bringing people together and having an open dialogue about what is happening in the world and how creative ideas and technologies are shaping our future.
By gathering U.S tech executives to meet with Cuban entrepreneurs and ministers to talk about the state of innovation and future opportunities, we fulfilled our mission. I look forward to a growing, continuing relationship between both countries,” said Katy Lynch, CEO Techweek.