Haiti Tech Summit’s slogan”Reboot Haiti,” is exactly what Marc-Alain Boucicault is doing with the launch of Banj 2.0, Haiti’s first co-working space for entrepreneurs with direct access to international experts and startup incubator programs. At just 30, the Haitian born, raised and college educated founder of Groupe ECHO Haiti and ELAN Haiti is changing the face of Haiti and Technology.
Banj officially opened its doors on Saturday April 21, with an inaugural event attended by some of Haiti’s top influencers. The new entrepreneurial hub is a collaboration between Spaces and Ateliers Co-Lab, two promising young local architectural firms.
Banj supports entrepreneurs in creating innovative businesses by providing them with a secure and user-friendly environment, events such as Ayiti Smart Talent with CFI, the exhibition of the digital economy of CONATEL and the introduction of Silicon Valley in Haiti: “Facebook and Google” shows the determination of Boucicaut’s team to do their best to build a better Haiti through entrepreneurship and youth.
According to Marc Alain, “Banj 2.0 is a home not just for entrepreneurs in Haiti but for Haitians in the diaspora and international community. We want to accommodate everyone looking for a safe haven to work and to connect to build a stronger Haiti.”
Located in Delmas 66 corner and the Delmas road, the new premises will house shared workspaces, with a range of new services over an area of 800 square meters, 13 closed office spaces, 10 offices in cubicles, one conference room with a capacity of 100 people, meeting rooms and a modern lobby for entrepreneurs looking for a space to work with broadband internet and free coffee.
The company plans to host 10 start-ups competitively selected as part of “Haiti Start,” an intensive business accelerator mentoring program launched in partnership with Google. Google Developers Launchpad is a branch of Google that operates a global acceleration program that helps startups grow.
The “Banj Powered by Google Developers Launchpad” initiative will connect Banj to an elite group of the world’s top accelerators, allowing it to share information and leverage resources. Banj will also access Google’s global network, insights from the company’s Silicon Valley-based startup programs, and twenty years’ worth of Google research and best practice insights on building businesses, products, and teams at massive scale.
The “Powered by Google Developers Launchpad” program is about empowering startup communities around the world and helping them leverage each other for insights and resource sharing. Through its collaboration with Google Developers Launchpad, Banj and Haiti will join a growing network of the top, independent accelerators across Latin America, Africa, Europe, and Asia.
The many partners of Banj include the Sogebank Group, Google, Facebook, Brana, HPS, Haiti Access, Digicel, Sogener, Chokarella, Royal Decameron, Fancy, Selecto Coffee, Savit Solution, Spaces, Colab, PC Xpress, Dagmar and 360Insights.
Marc Alain Boucicault:
Marc Alain (MAB) is an ecosystem builder. Born, raised and college educated in Port-au-Prince, he worked 7 years in international development in Washington, DC and in Port-au-Prince at the World Bank and with the Inter-American Development Bank before he decided to create his own businesses.
He is also co-founder of Groupe ECHO Haiti, a grassroots organization valorizing the potential of young adults in development in Haiti through which he created and lead several innovative projects including ELAN Haiti, the biggest international platform that brings together a community of students, young leaders and entrepreneurs from Haiti, its diaspora and the world focused on taking joint actions in Haiti.
Boucicault is responsible for partnerships at the Haiti Tech Summit: The biggest international tech event in the history of the country. He also co-founded and serves as chief external relations officer at HFund, a closed-ended micro-venture capital firm based in Haiti offering new modern and tailored financial instruments that bring capital to innovative businesses and contribute to the emergence of a new category of entrepreneurs in Haiti.