September 2016, Volume 20, Number 4

Cultural Spotlight

Puentes buiness workshops
Through the Puentes program, MDC's Ideas Center looks to foster business relationship between Cuba and the U.S.

Building Bridges to Business Success

Innovation is a driver of economic prosperity and, with the reopening of diplomatic ties to Cuba, opportunities for business growth will be abundant on the island. Through its Puentes (Bridges) program, MDC’s Idea Center is helping entrepreneurs on both sides of the Florida Straits to become better businesspeople by training them in business innovation and best practices.

Serving both recent arrivals and Cuban-Americans who have lived in the U.S. for many years, Puentes offers workshops, entrepreneurship boot camps, mentorship programs and startup competitions to foster engagement and facilitate engagement among Cuban innovators to drive progress in Cuba and the United States.

“The participants have passion, spirit, experience and, for some, active contacts in Cuba,” said José Estabil, Idea Center Advisory Board Member and director of entrepreneurship and innovation at MIT’s Skoltech Initiative. “I witnessed them beginning to make the journey from a business plan stagegated mentality to an iterative lean startup mentality.”

— MR

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