Seattle’s unique love of coffee, tech and business savvy is about to be packaged and exported to PortauPrince, Haiti for the island’s first ever Startup Week.
Seattle, Washington March 28, 2016 “Haiti was the pearl of the Antilles—most people don’t know that the island once produced 50% of the world’s coffee,” says Haitian-American David PierreLouis, Founder of Kay Tita. Indeed, the Caribbean island could at one point rely upon its claim to several agricultural exports, but decades of political unrest coupled with natural disasters devastated the nation’s fragile economy.
Now, PierreLouis is determined to be a part of the movement that empowers the island’s people by leveraging various resources that will be instrumental in strengthening their overall infrastructure, by bringing StartUp Week to PortAuPrince, Haiti
An avid Seattle businessman, PierreLouis boasts Haitian roots and an entrepreneurial pedigree; the proprietor of Haitian Cold Brew Coffee and LUCID Bloody Mary Mix, and former owner of LUCID Lounge, has now turned his attention to all things Haiti. His focus, Kay Tita, is a community resource center for the people of PortauPrince.
Named in honor of his mother who is affectionately known as ‘Tita,’ in Haitian Creole, Kay Tita is translated as Tita’s House. Following Haiti’s earthquake in 2010, PierreLouis felt compelled to do more than just bring in temporary aide for the people of his mother’s community, and decided to undertake the monumental task of creating a central point within the community where people of all ages could come to strengthen their knowledge, skills and in turn, livelihood.
PierreLouis quickly realized that Startup Week was the perfect opportunity to introduce PortauPrince to what Kay Tita can help the community achieve. Although the organization is still in its infancy, PierreLouis and his team come with over 20+ years of experience that will be providing an abundance of tools and resources that the locals will be able to leverage.
Startup Week is the brainchild of Techstars, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving diversity in technology entrepreneurship. What sets Startup Week apart from other conferences is the fact that it emphasizes the unique entrepreneurial potential and resources of its host city, which is what prompted PierreLouis and his fellow organizers to bring the event to Haiti.
“Kay Tita is about educating the people of Haiti, and enabling them to use what’s immediately at their disposal to improve their lives. In order for them to escape poverty once and for all, they have to be able to take control of their own infrastructure and strengthen their own economy. That’s simple to do in America where resources and access to information are abundant, but it’s a huge hurdle for a country that’s still developing,” notes PierreLouis.
He hopes that the access to entrepreneurial training and business infrastructure Startup Week provides will be a key step in Haiti empowering itself and regaining its independence.
“Startup Week is an amazing event; for Kay Tita to be able to bring it to Haiti this early in our organization’s history makes me optimistic about what else we’ll collectively be able to achieve,” he says with enthusiasm.
PortAuPrince Startup Week is set to make a big impact within the community, By offering tracks that range from Healthcare, to Agriculture to Technology.
The hope is that by identifying and addressing these issues in various tracks, the community will be encouraged to get involved and improve itself. Healthcare Professionals, Engineers, Agriculturists and Artists will be involved in solving the problems of their city’s needs.
Startup Week will inspire individuals from every socioeconomic background of PortauPrince.
“This is all about community and teamwork. When everyone can see that their talents will make a difference, then they will understand that they have all of the tools they need to build and control their own infrastructure,” says PierreLouis, “That’s incredibly empowering.”
Startup Week PortauPrince will take place May 15th – 22nd, 2016.
For more information, or to sponsor or attend this event, please visit http://portauprince.startupweek.co/
To learn more about the social justice endeavors of Kay Tita and David PierreLouis, please visit http://www.kaytita.com/and http://www.davidpierrelouis.com/