Boulder company helps Cuba catch up in the tech race

Next with Kyle Clark. 9NEWS @ 6. 3/7/2017

BOULDER, COLO. - A good laugh can be a great cure for a lack of creativity. That's why you'll hear plenty of it at Boomtown Accelerator in Boulder.

Jose Vieitez, the co-founder, helps startups fine tune their software, business strategy and other elements essential to a successful business.

“When you start a company, it's very easy to start building product and figure out how to make money later,” he says.

But this group is not made up of Boulder techies

“My company is called Isladentro,” Indhira Sotillo says through a translator. “It is a mobile application that acts as a guide to Cuba.”

Her app is essentially a type of Yelp for Cuba.

Sotillo founded Isladentro in Havana in 2013. She visited Boomtown on Tuesday with two other Cuban tech startups.

“It’s been a great benefit to be able to learn about business here, but also to show what we're able to do in Cuba,” Sotillo says.

The companies are among the 10 winners of the 10x10KCuba competition. They've earned the opportunity to work with accelerators in America and Mexico.

Running a Cuban based tech company isn't like starting one in the U.S. It creates unique challenges, which call for creative solutions. Sotillo’s app is offline now because in Cuba people have very limited internet connectivity.

“All of the information is in the app, so you have the sense of being online even though you're not.”

Vieitez’s family still lives in Cuba. He knows firsthand the sacrifice that Cuban entrepreneurs make daily.

“All the time you have to make sure that you're playing by government rules, and in addition making good business decisions which can be difficult,” he says.
Vieitez hopes the ideas developed during the two weeks he's spending with the companies will have a global impact. And Indhira is looking forward to sharing her foreign tech experience back home.

“Everyone is helping each other be successful in their businesses, and that's something I'd like to take back to Cuba,” she says.
 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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