The Connecting the Dots Business Conference took place from 19 – 22 October. The Conference focused on: inspiring, innovating and accelerating. It was hosted by the Ministry of Economic Development, the Representation of the Netherlands in Willemstad, the University of Curaçao, the National Platform on Youth Development, the Curaçao Innovation & Technology Institute (CITI), Curaçao Export and Investment Promotion Agency (CINEX) and Startup Curaçao.
TEXT VANESSA VAN DIJSSELDONK
The conference included 15 keynote speakers and 20 workshops that participants could choose from. The Minister of Economic Development, Eugene Rhuggenaath, opened the conference. Thereafter, three entrepreneurs Nevita Mezas, Richard Martina and Chris Cirillo shared their accounts of failure in a segment named “Our Biggest Screw Ups”, focused on creating the space for entrepreneurs to tell their failures so other can learn from their mistakes.
The conference continued with lectures starting and workshops. Some of the topics dealt with these days were: unique selling points, innovative financial possibilities, challenger marketing, business networking, trend watching, e-commerce, FinTech, business canvas, technopreneurship, social entrepreneurship, creative entrepreneurship, environmentally friendly ways of doing business, legal aspects of starting your business, taxes and cooperatives.
During this conference various international speakers presented, such as Oscar Kneppers of Rock Start, and Tristan Every of ATECH, as well as various local entrepreneurs such as Serena Israel of Chichi’s, and Remco Ernandes of CurAloe. Moreover, there was a panel focused on the creative industry that included Dolph van Stapele from Tula the Revolt, Gino Jacobs from Skempi, Pito Polo, and Ryan Navarro from Urban Chase.
On Thursday, 20 October, there was an Entrepreneur’s Square where entrepreneurs had the opportunity to meet various organizations such as MEO, CITI, ADECK, Korpodeko, sBAB, and SVB in order to gain information, advice and counselling to aid their own businesses. A networking event named the “Effectual Idea Lab” followed and gave participants a chance to stimulate their creative thinking by developing new products by collaborating with others.