Grupo Guayacán

H3 Tech Conference Returns

Published by Sharon Minelli Pérez in Puerto Rico Business Insights from El Nuevo Día

The H3 Tech Conference returns for a second year with a strong agenda to encourage even more “positive encounters” between people with different talents that can create “the ideal team for innovative entrepreneurship,” as announced yesterday its producer, Carlos Cobián.

The event assembles hackers, hustlers, and hipsters that, in managing so well their respective environments –like engineering and computing, marketing and sales, and creative enterprises– don’t usually converge, explained the businessman about the innovation summit that will be held from November 20 to 21, in the Caribe Hilton Hotel.

During these days, they expect the participation of 700 professionals, investors, entrepreneurs, and college students that will hear more than 30 lecturers and participate of discussion sessions and practical workshops. There are also spaces in the program to enable mentoring, the flow of ideas, and to establish professional links.

Among the speakers is Celiana Adcock, from global marketing at Facebook, Puerto Rican Miguel Ríos, Engineering Manager at Twitter, and Reid Benson, Marketing Director at MasterClass.

In addition to the United States and Puerto Rico, exponents from Panama, Colombia, and Mexico will also attend.

This goes hand in hand with the objectives of climbing and exporting, which are promoted at H3, detailed Cobián.

“I can’t talk about exportation if I myself am not exporting,” he said about the internationalization phase, which is also mirrored by the fact that the conference coincides with Global Entrepreneurship Week, an initiative that promotes entrepreneurship all around the world.

To the second edition of H3 Tech Conference this year they are adding concurrent sessions about social entrepreneurship, how to use innovation in the non-profit entity field, and how to measure its impact and improve its efficiency.

The main speaker for this subject is Melinda Briana, founder and CEO of Change Catalyst, explained Carlos Cobián, producer of the event.

“It is an opportunity to reimagine non-profits as organizations guided with a purpose. And teach them to manage themselves as if they were startups, which could drastically change how they operate in Puerto Rico,” said Dana Montenegro, cofounder of Seriously Creative and collaborator at H3.

Montenegro mentioned that the data indicates that the third sector could make seven times the volume of work that the government does for the same investment amount, which is why guiding them towards faster and more efficient operations could have such exponential socio economic impact.

But that need to change mentalities, he added, applies to all kinds of companies and all businessmen and women that can find tools and inspiration at the H3 event. “All companies need to reimagine their business models. There is a lot of inspiration for that.”

Solid Rewards

The most precise example is that, with just attending the first edition of H3 and taking advantage of the connections made there, a myriad of “palpable results” have been generates, affirmed Cobián.

“Last year, H3 helped me organize my coworking space and today I have eight startups operating inside of Engine 4,” explained the engineer Luis Armando Torres.

Meanwhile, founder of Lab787 in Santurce, Juan Pablo Gutiérrez, said that “last year we were six and now there are 14 of us.”

“We just have to stop the ‘blah blah blah’ and really act,” indicated Cobián.

“We have the talent. We just need it to have an ecosystem,” said Montenegro.

The Power of Connecting

Hence the importance of networking and sharing experiences, for both established entrepreneurs, as well as for those who are emerging and college students.

“Lots of students come to the event. They see how we receive them, with energy and joy because we want them to join us, because we genuinely want to continue contacting them after the event. That’s what makes it so much more exciting for me,” said, for her part, Denisse Rodríguez, from Foundation for Puerto Rico.

“It’s creating that space for those encounters to happen, so startups have the opportunity of meeting people, complementing their teams and finding an entire network of mentors, of people that help emerging companies in Puerto Rico,” said Laura Cantero, Executive Director of Grupo Guayacán, another collaborative entity.

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