Innovate Barbados 2017. (Photo credit: BIDC)

Barbados’ biggest innovation conference – Innovate Barbados – will come off this week at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre (LESC) from November 7 to 8.

The Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC), in collaboration with its industry partners, will host the event once again in the Flamboyant Room of the LESC on Two Mile Hill, St. Michael.

Over 300 participants are expected at this third instalment designed to bring together entrepreneurs, policy makers, innovators and executives from across multiple sectors and agencies for two days of engaging and boundary-pushing discussions and workshops. All this interaction is expected to lead to unique approaches to creative problem solving and new business opportunities.

Under the theme: Engineering New Connections, the BIDC intends to provide unmatched opportunities for persons to not only connect but uncover solutions that are best suited to the island’s current needs.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sonja Trotman speaking on the “much anticipated” event to the Barbados Government Information Service said: “Our aim in hosting this conference is to provide the knowledge and resources needed at this time to encourage the start-up and expansion of resilient and high growth businesses. There are opportunities all around us for innovative products, services, and business models that can create new market space in a highly complex and competitive world.”

Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation, Sonja Trotman. (BIDC)

She added that the BIDC realized that some of the complex problems around us could be solved by “connecting innovators and entrepreneurs with each other and with the resources that could turn those ideas uncovered at Innovate Barbados into valuable solutions”.

Minister of International Business and Industry, Ronald Toppin, will deliver opening remarks to kick off the conference on Wednesday, November 7, at 9:00 a.m. At 9:40 a.m., keynote speaker and Director of National Partnerships for Airbnb, Janaye Ingram, who, in light of the exploding trend of experiential marketing is set to examine how companies can adapt their business models to make connections and engage consumers in their pursuit of happiness.

Barbadian and Senior Economist with the International Finance Corporation, Dr. Denny Lewis-Bynoe, will, on Day One, reveal what is ahead of us in her presentation at 10:10 a.m. on the topic: Back to the Future, while Professor James Conley of the Kellogg School of Management will challenge entrepreneurs to answer the call for greatness in his Big Talk on Black Swans and Crazy Ones at 12:05 p.m. Participants will end the day on an inspiring note with the What’s the Big Idea workshop series at 3:40 p.m.

On Thursday, November 8, multi-award winning international speaker and author Dr. Ava Eagle Brown, will lead off Day Two with an exciting presentation No Cape Needed, at 9:00 a.m.

Dr. Brown, while on the island, will also share her life’s lessons on perseverance and survival on Tuesday, November 6, with students at The St. Michael School, Martindales Road, St. Michael, at 8:30 a.m. and the St. George

Secondary School, Constant, St. George, at 10:30 a.m. Her book, The Mango Girl, soon to be a Hollywood feature film, will be available to attendees during the conference.

Innovate Barbados 2017. (Photo credit: BIDC)

In addition, at 12:20 p.m. that day, Dr. Sonia Peter will unlock the treasures within the botanical sector for health and wealth benefits, while Carlington Burrell of the Caribbean Climate Innovation Centre will explore The Shape of Things to Come, in the Future Frontier segment at 12:40 p.m.

An innovative feature of this year’s conference is the One-to-One Meetups, which gives participants the unique opportunity to meet privately with conference presenters, decision makers, disruptive innovators, angel investors and financiers, industry experts and thought leaders for valuable conversations. Participants, having pre-booked a meetup, will be allowed up to seven minutes of private and dedicated one-to-one time with speakers and experts.

Another exciting aspect of Innovate Barbados 2018 is the Connections Zone which, this year, puts the spotlight on three frontiers of growth for Barbados – namely the Green, Blue and Orange economies.

“With its perfect mix of business and pleasure, Innovate Barbados 2018 offers participants a satisfying blend of “ah-ha’ moments against a backdrop of authentic Barbadian entertainment and experiences,” Ms. Trotman said.

Persons may still register for Innovate Barbados 2018 by visiting the Innovate Barbados website.

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