The MIT students above had a single question,
"If I were to return to Puerto Rico to launch a company, what resources would I have?"
With that they invoked a network of Puerto Rico entrepreneurs living both locally and in the diaspora through the well-run MIT Student Conference on Entrepreneurship in Puerto Rico. We basically answered that question from the angle of,
"What would I have liked to know about entrepreneurship if I were were a member of the MIT Class of 2013?"
In short, it was relentless barrage of awesome. Gianpaolo Pietri waxed on his reality of waking up wishing the workday never ended given his passion for building Yasta.PR. Jason Borschow spoke about how to leverage whatever endowments you have. I (Marcos Polanco) shared several of the innovations I have worked on in Puerto Rico, including the launching of a startup community in collaboration with Ramphis Castro, also a speaker, and many other talents. Gaby Hernandez of BDO explained the incentives he is using to migrate wealth to the island. Jon Borschow of Foundation for Puerto Rico exhorting Puerto Rico to focus on the export and visitor economies, Francisco Uriarte detailed how to access capital…Manuel Calderon, Jose Cordero, Carlos Cobian (who firestarted the whole conference), Christine Nieves, Deepak Lambda, Eugenio Torres, Fernando Albertorio, Jorge Ferrer, all describing how they started and made it anywhere they live. You can catch videos of the presentations or grab links from the conference Twitter account. Here we are:
Then came the moment when it all crystallized for me…when I tweeted:
— Marcos Polanco (@MarcosPolanco)
In that moment I realized that we were not inviting the Boston students in the audience to come to some island, to some beaches or even to their families. Ultimately, fairly all of us speakers knew each other and collaborated with each other and were all pursuing our passions and profits in global markets…we were inviting those Boston students, from MIT to Harvard to BU, to join us, a network of innovators creating a brand new community based in Puerto Rico which simply did not exist even two years ago. That is an idea worth spreading and news worth writing about. "We help each other." was not part of the old lexicon, yet it was the implicit message all day long, because we are having fun conquering the world, together.
Puerto Rico is not an island…
…The Network is the Puerto Rico.