50 Years in 100 Days
Closing remarks at Grand Central Tech Innovation Night at Goldman Sachs.
A bunch of people asked me to post this, so here it is. I stuck pretty much to the words, and when I finished I felt it was one of my best.
50 Years in 100 Days
No, this is not a history lesson. Not yet anyways.
But I hope it will be someday.
My name is Miles Spencer.
I am best known as a tech entrepreneur, angel and explorer. But really I am just a proud father of a 4 and 2 year old.
As an entrepreneur and angel, I have had the joy of creating, building and leading some fantastic organizations.
As an explorer, I have challenged myself to discover new ways of thinking from the Deserts of Arabia… to the Inca Trail.
But Quietly, I’ve had a lifelong dream of using my skills to help young entrepreneurs somewhere in the world grow through access to the resources we sometimes take for granted.
And then I met John Caulfield, former head of Special Interests in Havana and who was speaking at a family office event I attended in April.
We discussed jazz, baseball, and art… all of which are well developed in Cuba. And then he challenged me to consider an incubator as another means for Cubans to express themselves, this time with technology.
And so began 100 days of awesome in which we re-launched our Foundation, delivered our intern program with Grand Central Tech, won the support of the Cuban and US Governments, and partnered with an NGO to house our new “Innovation Factory” in Vedado.
As one senior Cuban official said to me “you could have worked on this for fifty years, you would not have made the same progress you made in 100 days”.
50 Years in 100 Days. In other words, timing Miles. Timing.
So what we do from here… what we are allowed to do from here, is anyone’s guess. But I stand before you humbled by the creativity and determination of our Cuban Innovadores, and I believe that young Innovators like this represent what Cuba might be in the future.
And that would make tonight… some interesting bit of history.