SiliconCaribe.com is a media brand, that has both an award-winning technology and digital lifestyle blog and also the largest roster of Caribbean Technology Events. On the blog, everything Technology is covered, from startups, innovation and digital business, to social media, mobile, digital culture and digital lifestyle. News, opinions, listings, directories and special reports are published, in addition to the curated insights from some of technology’s smartest minds as well as gems from digital natives and social media stars.
As a producer of Caribbean technology events, we have produced the most Caribbean Tech Events for Entrepreneurs, Digital Media, Women, Caribbean Businesses and the Caribbean Tech Industry and Diaspora, than anyone else. We’ve done over 80 Meetups+ Pitch events, 3 Caribbean Tech Conferences, 3 Caribbean wide Hackathons, a few Mobile App Competitions, Online Twitter Chats and Startup Weekends. We launched Caribbean Bloggers Week in 2016 and we will stage the first Caribbean Women in Tech coming up in September 2017.
My audience is primarily Caribbean and Diaspora millennials and GenXers and those who follow us from The USA, UK and Canada. They are the digitally savvy and tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, developers, startup fans and investors, college students, corporate executives, young professionals and our social media stars. They are highly engaged, engage with our content primarily on mobile platforms and they pretty much live and do business online.
Additionally, because of all of the roads I’ve walked down, my blog has won National Blogger Awards and I’ve been awarded Jamaican and Caribbean Awards for the impact, our events have had especially on entrepreneurs in the Caribbean and Diaspora and the Caribbean Startup Ecosystem.
I actually started a blog callled CaribbeanTechNews.com in 2005, then rebranded and relaunched as SiliconCaribe in July 2007. And as I’ve passionately chronicled how the Caribbean is doing with Tech and for the tens of thousands of people we’ve connected via our events, I have certainly become a big believer in our emerging #DigitalCaribbean and our inevitable success in the Global Digital Economy.
Best Technology Blog 2011 ( Jamaica Blog Awards)
Best Technology Blog 2010 ( Jamaica Blog Awards)
Blog of the Year 2010 ( Jamaica Blog Awards)
Caribbean Technology Events Firsts
– First Technology Community Meetup in Jamaica and the Caribbean, Kingston BETA and we kickstarted the Jamaican Tech Startup Community Scene and won two awards for this. ( 2007)
-Had over 80 Tech Meetups that’s seen over 7,000 attendees, and over 300 Entrepreneurs who’ve pitched from 5 Caribbean countries as well as the USA and UK.
– First Caribbean Tech Entrepreneurship Conference, Caribbean BETA ( 2011)
-Had 2 Caribbean Tech Entrepreneurship Conferences ( Caribbean BETA) that had 32 teams pitch their ideas, 500 attendees from 6 Caribbean countries attendees, plus Silicon Valley luminaries judging and speaking.
-First Startup Weekend Jamaica ( 2013)
-Co-produced the Caribbean’s first Agriculture Hackathon called AgriHack Caribbean.
-Co-produced the first World Bank and Government of Jamaica led- DigitalJam 2.0
-Provided Caribbean programming for SXSW Tech Accelerator Event
-Launched the first Caribbean Bloggers Week in December 2016 across 4 Caribbean and Diaspora Cities.
Kickstarted A Tech Startup Community and Movement
As a tech entrepreneur and one with both a media and marketing brand, it certainly wasn’t my intention to kickstart a tech startup community or champion a Caribbean Tech Entrepreneurship Movement, I just wanted to bring together people who loved the Internet and Technology like I did, in a single place and regularly so we could share our stories to inspire and learn from each other. That spawned Kingston BETA event series and our vision and mission emerged from doing that.
We wanted to continue to connect people and information from disparate parts of the tech industry, build a community and make a difference — there were zero technology industry meetups, blogs, tech resources and publications— we had to start somewhere — something had to change. We became passionate about catalyzing this change. We saw how important it was to have more individuals in technology and in business as entrepreneurs, developers, creatives, mentors and investors talking to each other, sharing their stories and also encouraging others to take advantage of the opportunities of the Digital Age.
So it started as a passion project — we ( my then business partner Susan LeeQuee) , started by hosting our first networking meetup called Kingston BETA in January 2007 – which had 90attendees, from 4 Caribbean countries. After 7 years, mostly operating as a passion project for founder Ingrid Riley, being pulled by the momentum of the growing community, partnerships and connections, we have grown Kingston BETA into the first and longest running and highly impactful tech startup community event in the Caribbean.
I have been credited and awarded with kickstarting the Jamaican and Caribbean Startup Movement and that has led to me working with governments, universities, international development agencies, large corporate brands, youth groups on various initiatives and we’ve only just begun.