The first ever Innovate Belize 2019 Summit was held at the Biltmore Plaza in Belize City on Thursday, August 15, 2019. The inaugural summit and conference brought together local and international businesses and industries, government organizations, and entrepreneurs to have a dialogue on innovative opportunities for communities, the economy and the country. Its intent was to foster an opportunity by creating a platform where individuals got together, collaborated, and discussed current innovative trends in technology.
The summit was hosted by Belize’s Mervin Burdram, William Neidlinger; the Meridian International, Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI); the US State Department, and BELTRAIDE and featured speakers such as TechTalk’s Yuri Alpuche and Dr. John Eckhardt; panelists such as Builders Hardware’s Shelly Usher and representatives from BELTRAIDE, DFC, and the US Embassy.
Burdram says that it is important for Belize to embrace the changes and that we need to understand that without communication, there can be no innovation. “You can’t have innovation if there is no communication and so that’s kind of what the event is geared towards—creating a platform for that. It’s literally getting those little tips, nuggets.” Burdram says that change does not have to always be big and that it is in the little alterations in technology and communication that change is brought forward.
Monique Usher, Manager of Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Belize, says that Budram, a client of SBDC, came up with the idea and being that SBDC supports entrepreneurship, they were eager to support. They were instrumental in identifying potential participants and Usher considers the event a hallmark one. “So, for us, it is hallmark at the Centre to see our client create something that is organic and assisting us in connecting and creating that entrepreneurial ecosystem that Belize longs for.”