NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The sprouts of entrepreneurship in Cuba are taking hold, thanks in part to an innovative internship program that again this year will welcome Cuban young innovators to New York and immerse them in the world of American high-tech start-ups. The first-of-its-kind program, which is sponsored by the Innovadores Foundation, an American non-profit, is again hosting three young Cuban technologists to intern in the heart of Manhattan, at Grand Central Tech, a tech incubator that is giving life to the next generation of U.S. technology companies.
Last year’s class, which exposed Cuban young people to some of the best and brightest young minds in technology here in the U.S., has already birthed one of Cuba’s newest technology solutions. MyAlmendrone is an app co-created by Gabriel Garcia, a graduate of last year’s program and Raynel Gonzalez Irure, who will join this year’s class in New York City. The app helps Cubans and tourists in Havana to navigate the Almendrone system, an informal network of privately owned 1950s era cars that operate as collective taxis along regular routes throughout the city.
Some seventy young Cubans overcame limited Internet access to apply online for the chance to study American entrepreneurship and technology as part of this year’s class. “The program has generated an incredible buzz inside Havana’s emerging tech scene,” says Miles Spencer, Cofounder of Greenwich, Conn.’s Innovadores Foundation. “Last year, we had no idea whether an American internship was even possible. This year, it’s paying dividends by giving Cuban students the chance to see how innovation takes place in the U.S. and taking that knowledge back to Cuba to create their own technologies and products.”
This year, the Innovadores Foundation is expanding its intern exchange program to include established entrepreneurs in the U.S. and Cuba. This “Innovation Exchange” program will bring U.S. entrepreneurs to Havana to witness the state of innovation and development in Cuba, as well as Cuban entrepreneurs to the United States for education and networking opportunities in their industries. The program provides established American companies with access and insights into emerging Cuban markets and business opportunities, led by John Caulfield, former Chief of Mission of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana.
“Our work connecting Cuban young people with U.S. technologists has resulted in a number of American companies contacting us to help them gain perspectives and understanding of the opportunities in Cuba,” says Caulfield. “Our Innovation Exchange program provides companies interested in gaining a real-word view of Cuba’s emerging markets and the challenges and opportunities they present.”
The Cuban interns, who will be in New York from July 18 until August 16, are available for media interviews on location at Grand Central Tech or in person at New York media locations.
About the Innovadores Foundation.
The Innovadores Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports the development of students who have demonstrated exceptional talent in science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics (STEM). The objective is to create an environment where new ideas in these areas can be developed through joint efforts under the mentorship of top professionals in their fields.