Cuban Entrepreneurs Battle Patchy Internet, Government Restrictions To Make It In Tech

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Photo: Cuban entrepreneurs in Boulder
Bernardo Romero Gonzalez, center, founder of Cubazon, with other Cuban entrepreneurs visiting Boomtown Accelerator in Boulder, Colorado.

Starting a successful technology business is hard enough, but a group of entrepreneurs visiting Boulder this month is doing it in a place without much Internet access, and where "capitalism" is a foreign concept. The leaders of three companies from Cuba came to Colorado to learn how to scale up their businesses.

They won a competition called 10x10k, earning them a package of web services and hardware to help their businesses, as well as a two-week immersion at Boomtown, with help from Techstars.

Bernardo Romero Gonzalez's business is called Cubazon. It helps Cuban expatriates and people with family on the island buy products made in Cuba from an Amazon-like marketplace. The products are then sent to people living on the island. He and the other entrepreneurs have to juggle severe limits the government places on private businesses, as well as spotty Internet service. He says only about five percent of the 11 million people who live in Cuba have regular Internet access.

Romero Gonzalez spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner, along with an organizer of 10x10k, John McIntire y Salazar.