ATECH* has confirmed the first 10 leading keynote speakers, angel investors, and entrepreneurial ambassadors who will take part in Aruba’s all new tech conference. The event will provide local and international members of the tech community with the opportunity to participate in the Caribbean island’s emerging startup scene.

ATECH*’s two-day conference is the first of its kind in the Caribbean. The goal of the event is to establish Aruba as a hotbed of entrepreneurial activity and build the region’s international reputation as “Silicon Beach.” ATECH* will host a number of international guests, including:

  • Angel investor Kelly Hoey, named by Business Insider to be one of the “100 Most Influential Tech Women On Twitter”
  • Charles Bonello, co-founder and managing director of New York’s flagship technology accelerator Grand Central Tech
  • Nathalie Lussier, digital strategist and founder of AmbitionAlly,
  • Oscar Kneppers, founder of Rockstart in Amsterdam, who recently started Rockstart in Singapore.

The conference will also feature a number of local speakers from the Government of Aruba, the Aruba Investment Bank, and The University of Aruba, among others.

“The caliber of speakers and startups that are attending this year’s conference shows the great potential Aruba has to be the next big thing in incubating breakthrough tech ventures and ideas,” said ATECH* Co-founder Varelie Croes. “The social, economic and environmental landscape of Aruba is changing rapidly, and both the island and new ventures can leverage ATECH* to take part in Aruba’s metamorphosis.”

Startups looking to present at the two-day tech demo event, taking place in the capital Oranjestad on August 28th and 29th, can apply directly at the ATECH* Conference page. The five startups selected to pitch at the ATECH* Conference will receive free travel to Aruba for up to two co-founders, free lodging for three nights, and a chance to win $20,000 for their venture.

“ATECH* is an open and welcoming event that gives the startups presenting at the conference, as well as the numbers attendees, the vital tools and insights they need to kickstart their ideas and push their ventures forward,” Croes added.

Aruba is the most popular of the 3 Dutch Caribbean Leeward islands. It is located just 4 hours from New York and 3 hours from Miami, and has historically been popular with sun-searching tourists. In recent years, Aruba has moved away from its image as a playground for the rich and famous by taking proactive initiatives towards sustainable tourism and green energy. This has included large-scale projects such as wind farms, an airport solar park, a waste-to-energy plant, smart communities and a $1 billion island investment largely focused on eco-tourism by the government. The island has a tradition of embracing the innovative, entrepreneurial spirit.

According to the General Managing Director of Caribbean Mercantile Bank Aruba, Javier Wolter, the ATECH* Conference will have a big impact on the island. “Along with this dynamic change, Aruba has a long history of business connections to Europe and Latin America. The residents speak 4 to 5 languages, including Dutch, Spanish and English, which removes the language barrier that can normally hinder prospective business ventures,” Wolter said. “This event combining the insights of the speakers and ambassadors together with emerging startups can truly turn Aruba into a tech hub.”