Central America celebrates TIC Americas and Eco-Challenge 2014 Regional Launches

Washington, D.C. – El Salvador was the first Central American country that hosted a National Launch of TIC Americas and Eco-Challenge 2014; a diverse audience and members of the media were present don the 13th of November in the Hilton Princess in San Salvador, where the Finals of TIC Americas 2011 had taken place.

The Ceremony, was presided by Alejandra Carrasco and Edgar Maestre, both from the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT); together with Karla Gálvez, Chief of Pepsi Brand , Central American Bottling Corporation (cbc) -El Salvador; accompanied by the Representative of the Organization of American States (OAS) in en El Salvador, Ronalth Iván Ochaeta; Francisco Lima, Manager of Tejido Empresarial of CONAMYPE-Ministry of Economy; and Mauricio Rivas, Executive Director of ALDESAI, local organization.

Following the launch, the audience that was comprised mostly of youth, attended the Presentation on TIC Americas and Eco-Challenge 2014, that included the participation of case study, Sergio Rodriguez representing MedioLleno, a local team and Winner of the TIC Americas 2011. Rodriguez shared his story and talked about what happened during the Program in 2011, highlighting how important it was to have an international mentor during the competition process.

On November 15th, TIC Americas and Eco-Challenge 2014 took to the capital of Costa Rica, hosted at the National University. This took place during the 1st Summit on Youth Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation (Mexico-Central America), organized by UNA Emprendedores, an event that brought together over 500 people, through panels, plenary sessions and an expo.

The Launch, presented by Gerardo Robinson, YABT Program Manager, highlighted, to an international audience, the benefits that young people receive by registering an idea or project, be it economic, social or environmental. Mr. Robinson spoke on behalf of YABT, accompanied by Francisco González Alvarado, Vice-Rector of the National University; Lucy Luna, Program Director, ASHOKA - Avancemos Centroamérica; Gerardo Villalobos, Program Coordinator, UNA Emprendedores. During the activity, Alicia Rojas, winner of TIC Americas 2010, shared her experiences with the audience, highlighting that in her profession as a scientist she was unaware of business related topics, but thanks to the program she was able to improve her project significantly, and will soon be launching it on the market.

Honduras was the third host country where the TIC Americas and Eco-Challenge 2014 Launch took place on the 18th of November, thus beginning the Global Entrepreneurship Week. Junior Achievement Honduras (JAH) was the local organization that YABT collaborated with for the activity. The OAS Representative in Honduras, Claudia Barrientos, welcomed the participants, mentioning: "Trough the OAS, we have consolidated a space for young entrepreneurs to show their innovation, this at the TIC Americas and Eco-Challenge taking place annually within the hemispheric agenda, namely at the General Assembly of the OAS". Following her intervention, the following speakers were also present: Oscar Narváez, Director of Fomenting the Micro, Small and Medium Businesses in the Secretariat of Industry and Commerce; Moisés Starkman, Consul of Israel in Honduras; Pina Bendaña, Executive Director of JAH; Rosa María de Frade, Director of Corporate Affairs, cbc; and Alejandra Carrasco, Program Officer, YABT.

In this third activity Daniel Aspra of SYSCOM, TIC Americas 2013 Finalist, spoke of his success story. The Ceremony also opened the the Innovation Business Labs Workshop, facilitated by two specialists of Mount Carmel Training Center (MCTC) of Haifa, Israel.

"…we are interested in contributing to the success of young entrepreneurs in initiatives that help in solving environmental issues in they're communities, which is why being part of [Eco-Challenge] is so important for CBC, and why we invite all young entrepreneurs to participate in this competition…", manifested Rosa María de Frade, Director of Corporative Affairs, cbc.

Additionally, on November 21st, a Virtual Presentation of the TIC Americas and Eco-Challenge 2014 for Central America and the Dominican Republic took place, an activity organized by YABT in conjunction with the Centro Regional de Promoción de la MIPYME (CENPROMYPE-SICA). The presentation was addressed to the counterparts and local partners of the Program Central America and Dominican Republic EMPRENDE. The purpose was to showcase TIC Americas and Eco-Challenge 2014 as an International platform for entrepreneurship and business accelerator, supported locally through the above-mentioned program.

To discuss collaboration and sponsorship for TIC Americas 2014, please contact YABT through Gerardo Robinson: GRobinson@oas.org.

If you have any questions about the Launches, please contact Edgar Maestre: edgar.maestre@yabt.net.

The Photo albums of the launches are available in (CLICK AQUÍ).