Cayman Enterprise City (CEC), through its technology-focused special economic zone, Cayman Tech City, has announced a five-year founding sponsorship commitment to the Digital Cayman not-for-profit initiative valued at $250,000.
Digital Cayman was first announced at the Cayman Islands Digital Economy Conference (CYDEC) on June 20, 2019, following a meeting with government representatives and industry professionals held during CYDEC 2018. The initiative emerged due to a growing demand by the Cayman Islands digital sector for a professional body to represent digital industries and support the Cayman Islands Government with relevant policy and legislation development.
“Our five-year commitment and sponsorship of the Digital Cayman initiative has enabled its recent launch and will ensure the initiative’s longevity,” said CEC’s Chief Executive Officer and Digital Cayman executive board member, Charlie Kirkconnell.
“The CEC mission is to help diversify Cayman’s economy and develop a business community where innovation thrives, so supporting Digital Cayman aligns seamlessly with our goals. We’re excited to help drive this project forward and to further positively impact the Cayman Islands community.”
The industry body was initially conceived by Paul Byles, Digital Cayman executive board member, founder of the CYDEC conference, and director at FTS, and is now being actively facilitated by a steering committee of 15 prominent technology professionals and industry leaders.
“We’re on a mission to strengthen Cayman’s digital sector by advocating for positive policy changes that will encourage the growth of the digital sector while adhering to appropriate standards for risk and reputational management purposes,” explained Byles.
As the voice of the Cayman Islands’ digital sector, cultivating Cayman’s dynamic and innovative digital ecosystem is at the forefront of the Digital Cayman mission. Since its launch, and together with Cayman Tech City, the initiative has already hosted seven public ‘Tech Talks’ events which have welcomed over 225 industry professionals to discuss tech trends.
Topics discussed and actively debated include Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency, building tech ecosystems, IT security systems, product development cycles, smart contracts, data protection, and most recently sector advocacy. Digital Cayman plans to officially welcome members into the association later this year.
Chris Wall, Digital Cayman executive board member, explained that to achieve the goals set out by the Digital Cayman initiative, they will actively engage and work with government and regulators in Cayman and across the world to ensure that the Cayman Islands and its people aren’t left behind.
“The digital sector is moving at an absolute rapid pace,” he explained during a recent Radio Cayman interview. “There’s no reason for the Cayman Islands to lag behind. Through Cayman’s growing tech community and through the Digital Cayman initiative, we can be at the absolute forefront of innovation, digital development, and ultimately positive progress.”
To date, CEC has contributed over USD$39,000 in capital for financial support and services to establish the Digital Cayman initiative. This initial expenditure covered everything from legal to brand development and design to marketing services for the launch of the initiative.
CEC’s five-year founding partner sponsorship of Digital Cayman is an annual commitment of USD$50,000 – totalling USD$250,000 over the five-year period.
As part of the commitment, CEC is also providing Digital Cayman with the opportunity to participate in the CEC’s Enterprise Cayman outreach initiatives, which includes internships and school programmes, and will enable the non-profit organisation to provide industry knowledge and expertise directly to Cayman’s youth, up-and-coming digital professionals, and entrepreneurs.
“The attributes that have made the Cayman Islands so enticing to the financial services sector have also attracted some of the world’s top technology entrepreneurs and leading fintech, media, and blockchain businesses to set up a genuine physical presence in the jurisdiction,” said Kirkconnell.
“While CEC is now home to a vibrant community of over 250 global special economic zone companies, 170 of which operate from within Cayman Tech City, Digital Cayman membership is not restricted to the special economic zones; it is open to everyone working in the digital sector who is interested in helping to develop a dynamic technology ecosystem in the Cayman Islands.”
For more information about the Digital Cayman initiative and to register your interest, visit www.digitalcayman.com.
‘Tech Talks’ take place on the second Thursday of each month and members of the public who are working within the Cayman Islands’ technology sector are invited to register their interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.