Curiosity and a love for all things digital and tech are how Jamaican Ingrid Riley explains her foray into the world of technology. In time, this inquisitiveness inspired her to pursue uncharted territory into creating something phenomenal, Silicon Caribe, the first in the region.
Silicon Caribe was just a hobby. Uniquely, a technology-focused blog that served as the outlet for her to express thoughts about the technology landscape in the Caribbean. “I would ask for advertisement here and there,” is how she describes its unassuming beginning. Then persons across the Caribbean and the diaspora offered to add their voice to the conversation. So began the multiple award-winning digital media company, a repository that chronicles the journey of Caribbean people, startups and businesses. Therefore, carving their own path and writing their own story on the global digital economy.
Her work has caught the attention of other, globally recognized technology companies. Ingrid explains, “People in the diaspora, from Silicon Valley, Silicon Roundabout in the UK, Silicon Savannah in Kenya and Silicon Alley in New York, have reached out to us offering to help in investable start-ups. They were interested in finding out how they could make a connection, to come and speak with our entrepreneurs. So a number of collaborations, partnerships and investments have happened because of the blog and the events we have done. We have also taken people from the region to events in Silicon Savannah.”
Ingrid After Ten Years
Now in its tenth year, Silicon Caribe has much to celebrate. As a matter of fact, it boasts the enviable distinction as the largest producer of Caribbean technology media content and events all under one roof. For example, the newest event brand Caribbean Bloggers Week and Kingston BETA, the pioneering Caribbean event for Tech Entrepreneurs. Silicon Caribe is an inspiration to tech entrepreneurs across the region. “Jamaica led the start-up tech community. Others saw, and some reached out to us for ideas on how to start their own local tech community groups and entrepreneurial events. We received requests from Barbados, Trinidad, Suriname and Cuba. So it inspires other countries to start their own tech entrepreneur community,” said Ingrid. She believes this tech-centric era is here to stay, and for their 10th anniversary, Silicon Caribe is reenergized to Amplify. Disrupt. Inspire.