Executive Director at Enlaces - Angel Investors Network
Pablo Ignacio Garcia is the Executive Director of Enlaces - Angel Investors Network of Dominican Republic. He also serves as board member of Boost Acceleration Camp and academic instructor in entrepreneurship at Barna Management School. His passion has always been the economic development of LAC.
Note: Francisco Tarazona of Enlaces also contributed to the development of this guide.
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Disclaimer: all content within the Startup Ecosystem Summary and Editor’s Guide sections is written by and reflects the personal perspective of the guest editor. The guest editor is not responsible for content within the Country Snapshot and Community sections, as much of this content is compiled from external sources and does not necessarily reflect the guest editor’s view.
The Dominican entrepreneurship and startup ecosystem is still in a very early phase, but is growing rapidly. As time passes, there are more and more programs, investors and entrepreneurs that are willing to contribute to the ecosystem overall. The country is full of immense opportunities given its position as the eighth largest economy in Latin America and the largest in the Caribbean and Central American region. Additionally, Dominican Republic has one of the highest annual economic growth rates within the region and is the number two spot for tourists to travel.
The ecosystem is growing at a rapid pace, and this is expected to accelerate. As the private sector and the government encourage and create more proposals to help the ecosystem, there’s going to be access to more tools, programs, capital and support for our Dominican entrepreneurs in the next 5 years. The challenges the ecosystem must overcome include the lack of education in the area, lack of access to capital especially in later stages, and an overall lack of experienced mentors in the startups field.
Editor’s choice of the country’s top 10 emerging tech startups.
Editor’s pick of which ‘Featured Startup’ is especially worth following and why.
Editor’s choice of the industries with the most potential for technology disruption and growth.
Editor’s perspective of the maturity level of talent in the ecosystem.
Editor’s commentary on how the country’s culture and history have impacted the ecosystem.
Dominicans have a reputation for being extremely friendly. They exude passion in the speed at which they speak, in the way they dress and dance, and in the embrace of the people around them, be it a friend or a visitor. Our explosive energy could be explained in our mixture of Taino, African and European roots. But, other European, Asian and Middle Eastern communities have also influenced and enriched the cultural landscape of the Dominican Republic since the 19th century, turning the population and culture into a fascinating miscegenation.
While modernism and globalization have affected the way of life in both large and small cities, Dominicans have retained their welcoming nature. Courtesy and hospitality are core values, which lend themselves to community building in the context of a startup ecosystem. However, it’s important to note that the Dominican Republic is still considered a third-world country and has a lagging education system. As a result, the startup ecosystem is still nascent.
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Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM) (Santiago de los Caballeros, Santo Domingo)
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