88% of Fortune 500 companies from 1955 have either gone bankrupt, merged with (or were acquired by) another firm, or have fallen out of the Fortune 500. Tech is today’s biggest change agent. And standing still is the equivalent of moving backwards. However, there is no nexus for tech in T&T. There is a lot of good work happening, but it occurs in pockets with little collaboration. We need a truly connected ecosystem to drive real change. If the tech industry is to explode, T&T needs to bring all tech groups together.
AMCHAM T&T is committed to making doing business easier and better in T&T. We’re concerned that entrenched business habits are making our companies more uncompetitive globally and we want to change that. We plan to build a national tech ecosystem and marketplace that will allow local businesses to export tech services to international markets, develop a critical mass of local talent and put the established businesses in touch with the young disruptors so that they can work together on solutions.
To do this, we’ve established an executive level Digital Transformation Committee that includes leaders from inter alia, Massy, IBM, Microsoft, PwC, EY, Citi, First Citizens, DeNovo, Atlantic, Fujitsu, the IDB and government involvement through the likes of the TTIFC, CARIRI and iGovTT.
We’re also holding a series of TECH talks to create buzz around tech. Our first TECH talk took place on 18 March 2019 at the Bungalow and featured the U.S.’s Suzy and Ted Teele – Head of Marketing and Communications at Advanced Robotics and Manufacturing (ARM) and CEO of Touchtown respectively – both tech entrepreneurs speaking on lessons learned starting a new technology company.
But none of this will have a huge impact if there is no tech nexus. And so, we’ll be holding Tech Hub Islands Summit – T.H.I.S. annually. Our first Conference is scheduled for 13 – 14 June 2019. T.H.I.S. will bring together established businesses in T&T, newer tech entrepreneurs and the government.
AMCHAM T&T has been laying the groundwork to create a wave of interest in tech and its powers of transformation. The established businesses regularly attend AMCHAM T&T events. We have 300 member companies and almost 90% of members were active in 2018, many at the executive level. We’ve also built relationships with the tech entrepreneurs in the region; we attended Tech Beach and they have since applied to join AMCHAM T&T. Meanwhile, several other newer tech companies are also joining our ranks. Three government groups sit on the AMCHAM T&T Digital Transformation Committee and they have been active in contributing to the agenda.
Our Private Sector Goal
We need to convince all companies that they are – at least in part – tech companies in today’s world. This is not a Conference about policy and abstract ideas. We want to give the private sector practical tech suggestions to improve all facets of business.
Our Government Goal
By building a wave of interest in tech, we hope to encourage the government to modernize. One of our topics for this year is “eGovernment is good politics!”
Our Marketplace Goal
We want to create a marketplace where the free flow of ideas will give birth to partnerships and innovation. We will be partnering with the IDB to train startups on pitching. To qualify, the startups must have more than a good idea; they must already have a product or service in the market. On Day Two of this the startups will pitch these existing products and solutions to the bigger businesses. Our exhibition will also allow any company to exhibit their products and services.
1. Man & Machine – The Workforce of the Future
Leadership Panel: Is Your Business Model 4IR Fit?
Unlocking the Power of Data to Transform your Business