About The Speaker
Gerard Thomas is a tech junkie, an entrepreneurship aficionado, and a corporate innovation architect. His love for computers and software steered him to a B.Sc. in Computer Science from South Carolina State University, and this positioned him to be a Vice President at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch in platform engineering for 6 years. During that time he ran a web development company and launched a startup, and his passion for turning ideas into companies lead him to an MBA from Babson College. After his experience with corporate America, he returned to Trinidad in 2012 to join its entrepreneurial community, but to his dismay he found a fragmented ecosystem with no community. Therefore, he took it up on himself to start a community and a resource centre for innovation. This would become Launch RockIt. Launch RockIt is an organization that assists entrepreneurs with turning ideas into investable businesses, and assists companies with their innovation strategy. The organization has hosted over thirty-five (35) events, from small meetups to regional conferences, where they interacted with over twelve hundred (1200) entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, and consulted at startups and conglomerates. Within the last 5 years Launch RockIt has been able to jumpstart over one hundred and fifty (150) ideas and support the development of two (2) local angel groups. Through Launch RockIt, Gerard has managed and executed entrepreneurship activities and innovation events for organizations such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), World Bank, Youth Business Trinidad & Tobago (YBTT), Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI), Caribbean Export, The Ministry of Planning, UWI Consulting, Massy Group and Shell. His work with these companies has been focused on economic impact of supporting startups and stimulating innovative ideas within companies. To summarize, Gerard is the quintessential entrepreneurship and corporate innovation guy- the one who can talk all day about innovation. He wants to ensure Caribbean startups get the right support, and Caribbean corporations leverage the right methodologies to becoming more innovative. Through Launch RockIt his mission is to show the world that the Caribbean can develop great ideas in amazing companies.