I got a memory reminder from Facebook–I generally hate them–but this at least helped me place a watershed moment in Cuban-American relations…the day I met John Caulfield. In the two years since, the Innovadores has blossomed under John and Jono’s efforts, and I have played a small part in assisting them.
I’m back from Havana this time feeling so alive with optimism.
Ok its measured, long term optimism, but optimism because of how many things progressed in two years. First, the mere fact that I did get a notification on Facebook means there was wifi, with increasing coverage. The fact that we had a dozen investors and entrepreneurs with us discovering ways to work in Cuba seemed unfathomable two years ago. Sitting in on a fabulous diplomatic briefing from Scott Hamilton, Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy, was nothing I could have grasped back then. Of course, eating at the best Paladars and enjoying the best Cuban rum and cigars was totally within what we expected our man in Havana, Jono Matusky, to uncover. He seems to know that category well. Meeting with the founder of the first private businesses permitted in Cuba? Unimaginable. Tour the Mariel free trade zone? Impossible. Listen and question Cuban tech Entrepreneur’s on their products a la Shark Tank? Pure fantasy. Meet with the best and most famous designers and artists in their homes and shops? Who does that?
Well, Innovadores does.
And I guess that was the best comment from the trip; discovering Cuba with Innovadores is like no other, because we just tag along while they do what they do every day. Awesome job Jono and John!
Get on the list for their next trip here.
Read more on Miles Spencer’s personal blog: http://www.milesspencer.com/back-from-havana