The week of October 21st, Idea Foundry hosted a cohort of 10 Central American entrepreneurs through the La Idea Incubator project, a collaborative program between the InBIA and the Regional Center for the Promotion of MSMEs in Central American (CENPROMYPE) and funded by the U.S. Department of State. The group of entrepreneurs came from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua and represented companies in technical services, ranging from software solutions for various industries, custom development companies, data analytics, to architecture. The objective of the program was to support them in gaining new perspectives and insight from the U.S. and understanding the opportunities and challenges of doing business in the U.S.
The first two days of the program consisted of InBIA workshops designed to help the participants view their business models in a different light and understand the basics of doing business in the U.S. During the next three days, Idea Foundry arranged an agenda of meetings and events which focused on Pittsburgh’s entrepreneurial ecosystem as well as one-on-one business consulting from the Idea Foundry team. Each participant came with a unique company, perspective, and priorities, so the program and post-program activities combine group activities with individual support to meet each participant's needs and objectives.
“There is a lot of theoretical content than can be covered without needing a trip to Pittsburgh, but actually being here is what creates the impact that widens your perspective and leads you to see the unique opportunities here. We could tell you Pittsburgh is different than other U.S. cities, but you won’t believe us unless you are here living it.” said Lindsey Matesic, Idea Foundry’s Global Engagement Manager. With that in mind, the program included participation in several local events as well as some of the cultural aspects that make Pittsburgh unique. The group ate the famous Primanti’s sandwiches (they were fans!), toured the University of Pittsburgh’s Nationality Rooms, and took a trip to Trax Farms for fall festivities. After the week, many said that Pittsburgh’s welcoming nature was notable, both from a business perspective and also from friendly Pittsburgers they met during the trip.
Now that the trip is over, we will continue to engage with the participants in Post-Bootcamp activities, exploring opportunities to support them as they grow at home and building connections between them and Pittsburgh. This is the first time that Idea Foundry has worked together with the InBIA, a global nonprofit located in Orlando, which serves entrepreneurial support organizations by providing industry resources, education, events, and global programming to drive global prosperity. With the InBIA’s impact-driven mission, we are excited to build stronger collaboration with the organization as well.
More information on the La Idea Incubator project here: https://inbia.org/la-idea-incubator-program/