Country Guide

Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

Guest Editor

Pablo Ignacio Garcia

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.


Guest editors are local ecosystem leaders: successful founders, investors, or thought leaders. Have someone in mind? Nominate a country guest editor.

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.

Startup ecosystem summary

Key Startup Cities

Santo Domingo, Santiago de los Caballeros, Punta Cana

Connected Country Ecosystems

United States, Spain, Central America and the Caribbean

Differentiators

  • Largest economy in Central America and the Caribbean
  • Fastest growing economy in LAC since 2004
  • Macroeconomic and political stability
  • Strategic location and great connectivity

Challenges

  • The educational level of its general population
  • Shortage of successful homegrown startups

Editor's Guide

Introduction

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.

Outlook

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.

Featured Tech Startups

Editor’s choice of the country’s top 10 emerging tech startups.

Startup Showcase

Editor’s pick of which ‘Featured Startup’ is especially worth following and why.

Tagshelf is a document processing startup that has unique technological capabilities to extract, transform and load (ETL) unstructured data thanks to their proprietary technology based on artificial intelligence. They already have many big corporate clients applying their technology for different use cases in the healthcare industry, government, and financial sector, among others. They have a robust technological team of serial entrepreneurs with vast experience in artificial intelligence and math.

Focus Industries

Editor’s choice of the industries with the most potential for technology disruption and growth.

Artificial IntelligenceThe AI industry in the Dominican Republic is very young, but has gained attention in the past few years.
FintechThe fintech industry grew more than 66% in the LATAM region since the last measurement of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Finnovista, reaching a total of 1,166 companies, according to the report “Fintech Latin America 2018: Growth and Consolidation.” Fintech companies are growing rapidly in our country, as they have one million users and move an average of 12 million transactions per month.
SaaSThe software industry is a new door for growth and exploitation of the Dominican economy. With initiatives such as the Project to Strengthen the Competitiveness of the Software Industry in DR and the overall increase of the use of technology, this industry has a big road ahead.

Talent

Editor’s perspective of the maturity level of talent in the ecosystem.

  • Technical TalentModerate
  • Marketing TalentModerate
  • Experienced TalentUndeveloped
  • International TalentModerate

Culture and History

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.

Interested in becoming more involved in this ecosystem and connecting with local ecosystem leaders? Let us know.

Community

Active Investors

AGREGA Partners (Santo Domingo): Series A fund focused on the fintech sector.

CREE Banreservas (Santo Domingo): Pre-seed and seed fund.

Enlaces (Santo Domingo): Seed fund.

INICIA Educación (Santo Domingo): Edtech-focused fund.

NEXXUS (Santo Domingo): Seed fund.

Rosente Group (Santo Domingo)

incubators

Atarazana Labs (Santo Domingo)

OnClick Ventures (Santo Domingo)

Pretty Busy Club (Santo Domingo)

Venture DO (Santo Domingo)

accelerators
Startups Raising Capital
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Startups Hiring
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Coworking Spaces/Hubs

BWork (Santo Domingo)

Chez Space (Santo Domingo)

La Mochila (Santo Domingo)

PYHEX Work (Santo Domingo)

Spatium (Santo Domingo)

The Box (Santo Domingo)

THRIVE (Santo Domingo)

WeConnect (Santo Domingo)

conferences
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meetups
Government Programs
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Tech Publications
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Reports & Infographics
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Country Snapshot

Economy

Startup funding
Startup funding
US$292,000 (2020)
Standard of living
Standard of living
Global rank: N/A
Innovation
Innovation
Global rank: 90 (2020)
Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship
Global rank: 82 (2022)
Annual GDP growth
Annual GDP growth
12.3% (2021)
(Global avg. 3.0%)
Ease of doing business
Ease of doing business
Global rank: 115 (2019)
Ease of starting a business
Ease of starting a business
Global rank: 112
Research and development
Research and development
% of GDP
(Global avg. 2.3%)
Contract enforcement
Contract enforcement
Global rank: 133

Sources

Startup Funding: Guest Editor
STANDARD OF LIVING: International Monetary Fund - GDP per capita (PPP)
INNOVATION: Global Innovation Index
ENTREPRENEURSHIP: Global Entrepreneurship Index
ANNUAL GDP GROWTH: World Bank
EASE OF DOING BUSINESS: World Bank
EASE OF STARTING A BUSINESS: World Bank
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT: World Bank
CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT: World Bank

*Updated with latest available data based on listed source.

Society

Population
Population
10.8 million (2020)
Government
Government
Presidential Republic
Stability
Stability
Global rank: 89 (2020)
Internet usage
Internet usage
76.9% (2020)
Smartphone usage
Smartphone usage
N/A
Literacy
Literacy
93% (2016)
Population under 15
Population under 15
27% (2021)
Median age
Median age
28.1 (2018)

Sources

POPULATION: Worldometer
GOVERNMENT: The World Factbook
STABILITY: Global Innovation Index
INTERNET USAGE: International Telecommunications Union
SMARTPHONE USAGE: Newzoo
LITERACY: World Bank
POPULATION UNDER 15: World Bank
MEDIAN AGE: The World Factbook

*Updated with latest available data based on listed source.

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