Sunday 18 August, 2019

Branson Centre CEO seeks to boost connectivity among entrepreneurs regionally

Lisandra Rickards

Lisandra Rickards

Interconnectedness among entrepreneurs is vital for business success and to the development of a healthy, thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem.

That’s the main message CEO of Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship - Caribbean, Lisandra Rickards, hopes to convey at the International Startup Congress Costa Rica 2019 taking place this week.

The inaugural event, happening August 13 and 14 in San Jose, invites entrepreneurs and industry leaders to share their success stories, challenges and perspectives on the latest trends in the business world.

“The entrepreneurial ecosystem of Central America and the Caribbean should join forces to learn from each other and be exposed to wider markets for our entrepreneurs. This will be my first time in Costa Rica and I hope to learn more about the type of new ventures that are emerging in such a unique country,” Rickards says. 

Rickards, who has an MBA from Harvard University, will share her knowledge and the details of her work with Costa Ricans and other Latin Americans expected to be in attendance. Her talk will cover topics including training entrepreneurs for growth, mentorship support, and connecting to investment – all of which are services the Centre she heads provides through its programming.

By connecting entrepreneurs to each other and to investment, Branson Centre Caribbean is making a positive impact not only on the individual businesses, but on the economy as a whole. Since the Centre’s launch in 2011, 400 new jobs have been created and entrepreneurs have received more than US$1 million in investment as a direct result of its work.

Rickards is one of five invited international speakers scheduled for the Congress. The others hail from Israel, Colombia, Poland, and the United States. Nine locally-based experts are also slated to speak.

Through keynote addresses, networking activities, talks or discussion panels, these business leaders will address various issues of interest, such as Fintech and Open Banking, Intellectual Property, Tourism Startups, Angel Investment, the Lean Startup Method, Digital Transformation, Open Innovation, Global Entrepreneurship, Scalability, and SDGs (sustainable development goals).

“The Congress aims to integrate participants from startups, large corporations, small and medium enterprises, investors, academia, NGOs, financial entities, legal firms, government institutions and incubation and acceleration programmes in an innovative event that brings them together, connects and instruct, ” says Irene Dobles, a representative of ID Meetings Costa Rica, the company organizing the event.

The first session kicks off at 6 pm. on August 13.

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