ATECH: Aruba Can Be the ‘Silicon Beach’ of the Caribbean

April 27, 2015

4:00 pm

ATECH announces its launch and new tech conference in Aruba, offering entrepreneurs and startups a chance to contribute to the emerging tech and eco hub of Aruba, and to pitch their ideas for the chance to win $20,000.

ATECH is organizing the pitch event and its upcoming accelerator in the Caribbean paradise island with the goal to igniting the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. The social, economic, and environmental landscape of Aruba is changing rapidly. In recent years, Aruba has tried to move away from its image as a playground for the rich and famous and initiated a push towards sustainable tourism and green energy.

Aruba’s government has incorporated wind farms, an airport solar park, a waste-to-energy plant, smart communities, and a $1 billion island investment largely focused on eco-tourism. In 2012, Virgin CEO Richard Branson and the government of Aruba announced a partnership with the Carbon War Room (CWR) with the intention to transition the island to 100% renewable energy within the coming years. Aruba was awarded the National Geographic World Legacy Award in March 2015 for “Destination Leadership”, in recognition for its efforts to make tourism on the island more sustainable and environmentally friendly for the benefit of the local population of Aruba and generations to come. These efforts are all part of a broader initiative to create social and economic resilience for Aruba.

“As a Dutch colony, Aruba already has strong business links with Europe and the rest of the world,” said ATECH cofounder Varelie Croes. “Aruban residents speak 4 to 5 languages, including Dutch, Spanish, and English which removes the language barrier for prospective business interests on the island and opens the door to providing employment for locals in bi-lingual international commerce. We believe this conference is the first step into turning Aruba into a tech hub.”

The most popular of the 3 Dutch Caribbean islands, located just 4 hours from New York and 3 hours from Miami, has been historically popular with sun-searching tourists from the U.S and further afield. Aruba is not the only island in the region making strides to grow it’s local entrepreneurial community, Jamaica has also gained some tech momentum with the help of the local government.

ATECH Conference will be a two-day conference that will include international and local keynote speakers, panel members, jury members, startups, and guests in what will be the first conference of its kind in the Caribbean. It is now receiving applications for the 2-day tech demo event, which will take place in Oranjestad August 28th and 29th 2015.

Image: Flickr/Harvey Barrison 

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Camila has been heavily active in South Florida’s tech startup community, where she is a co-host of a local radio show called pFunkcast. Camila previously worked at Greenpeace International and the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in various communication roles. A proud Brazilian who spent most of he life in Peru, she is passionate about traveling and documentaries.