By Bankless Times / Staff Writer
From May 11th-19th in Mayagüez and Rincón, a decentralized community of innovators, thought-leaders, non-profits and investors, local community leaders, and students, came together to take action in the revitalization of Puerto Rico during Restart Week West. The community-driven event collaborated with the Municipality of Mayagüez and the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez to ensure direct impact on the local and surrounding community.
Throughout the nine-day event, Restart Week West collaborated with independent event producers and community builders to stage 20 events including a hackathon, day of listening, community dinners, regional tours, art and design activities for kids, regional mastermind sessions, project tours, and panels on economic development through use of regenerative power and water technologies.
Impact from Restart Week West:
- Launched non-profit and made donation to the University Start-Up and Innovation Factory space;
- Four paintings were auctioned off and earned enough to bring solar power and refrigerators to six homes in Puerto Rico through the volunteer organization Off Grid Relief;
- Working with Arts and Beyond K-8 School to install a satellite Internet to give the children connectivity for their STEM program. This will be the first of several schools;
- Regional tour to projects in motion to help connect potential investors and collaborators.
- Panel at RestartX focused on bringing awareness to Puerto Rico during Blockchain Week in NYC;
- Brought approximately 125 attendees from around the globe together to take action in the economic development of Puerto Rico while leveraging key relationships to create impact;
- Multiple beach clean ups were hosted in the region during the event, which brought local teams and attendees from the event together to remove trash from the beach.
One standout event included the Day Of Listening hosted by Timothy Lewis, which brought out a number of passionate Puerto Ricans who shared their valid concerns about the solutions being brought forth by outsiders and the injustices that locals have faced over the past 500 years. This was an eye-opening experience leading to a fresh perspective regarding next steps for the community.
Tribalize then hosted a Collaborative Mastermind Conference, which brought together terms working toward creating cohesive and integrated plans for the region by aligning visionary leaders, entrepreneurs, non-profits, and educators. Another highlight was the Making Ideas Happen event focused on blockchain, regenerative energy, and cryptocurrency with speakers,panels, and showcases.
Other highlights included the EduBlock Restart Week Hackathon, which brought teams together at University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez to compete for more than $12,000 in scholarships, cash, and cryptocurrency. Throughout the 26-hour event, dedicated students took on categories like Best Use of Blockchain Technology, Best Use of Open Data, and Best Use of Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality.
During Restart Week, the local Puerto Rican non-profit Integro Foundation Inc. announced they joined forces with Brock Pierce of Bitcoin Foundation, Adam Krim of SymbioNet, and Crystal Rose of Unicorn VC to create Restart.One, a non-profit focused on supporting and empowering initiatives that have positive social and environmental impact for the advancement of the standard of living and economic health of Puerto Rico.
The first initiative of Restart.One was making a donation to the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez with a focus on the University Start-Up & Innovation Factory space. This will be instrumental in accelerating the entrepreneurial recovery efforts by encouraging students to create and cultivate business in Puerto Rico.
“We are very happy to work closely with Restart.One,” says University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez professor of Chemical Engineering Ubaldo M. Córdova. “This is the beginning of many collaborations and opportunities to engage in activities related to recovery, research, innovation and entrepreneurship. With this donation we will enhance our facilities for innovation and impact aspirations of 13,000 students.”