A delegation from Bermuda is meeting with investors, entrepreneurs and corporate executives at a leading innovation conference in California.
Technology-related topics such as blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and artificial intelligence are being featured at the Montgomery Summit on Santa Monica.
The Bermuda delegation, which has been is taking part in organised by the Bermuda Business Development Agency is taking part in two days of panel discussions, presentations and one-on-one meetings. The event attracts an estimated 1,200 invited attendees.
Wayne Caines, Minister of National Security, is among the group. He said: “It’s been interesting to meet people who already know a lot about Bermuda and our reputation in the business community but want to learn about growing opportunities in our tech space.
“We are encouraging them to look at Bermuda for any business need, specifically some of the new initiatives related to cryptocurrencies and blockchain. It is also a beneficial opportunity to meet thought leaders, to understand the direction the world is headed in technology — and, importantly, to see we are on the right track.”
In an interview with Nasdaq at the event, Mr Caines underscored Bermuda’s centuries-long history of innovation and entrepreneurism — from sloops, shorts, and onions to pioneering insurance products. Today, he said, that same spirit of ingenuity is driving solutions to new ventures in the fast-developing digital economy.
John Narraway, BDA consultant for emerging technologies, in another video interview that was distributed to summit attendees, said: “The big value we see here is the ability to talk to early-stage start-ups, as well as those investing in them, about what Bermuda can offer — particularly our respected regulatory environment and the certainty our domicile can provide for ventures looking to expand internationally.
Mr Narraway, who also heads Bermuda Government’s Blockchain Business Development Working Group, said: “A lot of the industries we’re looking at are high-growth companies and they’re accelerating at a speed for which they really do need to contemplate an international strategy.”
Chris Garrod, Partner, Conyers, who has helped some of the first digital token issuers launch a corporate presence in Bermuda, and also serves on the Government’s Blockchain Legal and Regulatory Working Group, said: “People have been very responsive to the fact Bermuda is tech-friendly and pushing things forward through the collaborative efforts of our public and private sectors.
“Bermuda is being recognised here as a place that, through responsive, nimble yet respected regulation, is ensuring it keeps its reputation intact as a blue-chip jurisdiction — a place where quality is always going to trump quantity.”
The Bermuda delegation was due to host a breakfast meeting for invited guests, including investors and start-up executives, to be followed by a midday panel discussion open to all summit attendees, titled “Bermuda: The New Value Equation.”
The panel was to be moderated by Mr Narraway, and feature Mr Caines, Mr Garrod, and Aron Dutta, founder and chief executive officer of Vaphr, a Bermuda-based blockchain accelerator that last year selected Bermuda as its global platform hub.
Also representing Bermuda at the summits is Bermudian Gina Pereira, CEO of private-client advisory firm Dana Philanthropy.