Another group of Innovadores supporters visited the island in May, both for a chance to see Cuba and to meet with candidates for our 2017 internship program. The group, hailing from the US and Canada, were members of the Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO), an international network of founders and business owners. It was a quick visit–just two days–with time built in for the group to discuss some of their own agenda items. But even with a short amount of time, the group got the change to glimpse into tech, design, and business on the island.
After a short trip around Old Havana, the group met with one of the creators of Clandestina, the design shop in Old Havana, to discuss their challenges in creating a sustainable business in Havana. Afterwards, the group visited US Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis at his residence for a conversation on the current status of Cuba and expectations for the future.
The day ended with a trip to an artist’s studio and dinner at La Guarida, with a bit of time for drinks on the roof. The second day was similarly packed, beginning with a behind-the-scenes tour of the Fabrica de Arte Cubano (FAC), which is normally closed during the month of May.
After some time for art and cigar shopping, the group met this year’s internship candidates at El Cocinero for dinner and interviews. The applicants were stellar–over eighty applied–and it was difficult to narrow it down to these twelve semi-finalists, let alone to the final four who would be joining us in New York. It was a rewarding experience none-the-less, with all of us quite grateful for the opportunity to meet with some of Cuba’s best and brightest.
After a quick opportunity to visit one of our favorite jewelry stores, Rox950, the group departed Cuba. We hope they’ll make it back soon. And will officially announce our internship finalists in the coming weeks!