About Us

Here's what we're all about

The MIT REAP program aims to catalyze economic development by fostering a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship within participating regions, ultimately leading to sustainable growth and prosperity.

We will briefly explain the overall breakdown of the program, who will be representing Suriname and what it all can mean for everyone. Additionally it needs to be noted that we’re open to collaborate with local organizations, to ensure complete transparency and involvement of all relevant parties.

Regional teams of 5-8 leaders drawn from 5 stakeholder groups (government, risk capital, universities, entrepreneurs, and corporations) work
collectively with one another, with others from their region, with MIT thought leaders and with other teams to build an action-based strategy for change.

This hybrid educational, economic development, and convening program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ultimately enables regional stakeholders to accelerate economic growth and social progress. At its core, the program draws on MIT research that emphasizes an ‘innovation ecosystem’ framework focused on the distinct yet interdependent roles of innovative capacity (the ability to develop new technology) and entrepreneurial capacity (the ability to scale startup businesses). It builds on evidence that successful regions link entrepreneurship and innovation to uncover a comparative advantage through innovation-driven entrepreneurship (IDE).

Teams build their activities in five phases over
the course of two years. First, they build their team and then undertake a
systematic, data-driven, regional assessment to
measure their innovation ecosystem’s “as-is-state”.
They then develop a clear understanding of their
potential comparative advantage as an innovation
ecosystem. In the later phases, they develop a
strategy and build an organization to sustain ongoing collective action. Regional leaders, not MIT
faculty, determine what their region needs and how
best to implement their chosen strategy.
Global in focus, the program is structured to allow
MIT faculty and staff to engage deeply with regions
worldwide, to share cutting edge research and best
practices, and to learn from (and disseminate)
lessons learned. Participants ‘learn by doing’ and
benefit greatly from MIT, past Cohort mentorship,
and current Cohort community building.

What makes us different?

MIT REAP operates through a multi-year engagement process where selected regions work closely with MIT faculty, researchers, and experts to analyze their current innovation ecosystems, identify strengths and weaknesses, and develop action plans for improvement.

1. Assessment: MIT REAP begins with an assessment phase where participating regions analyze their innovation ecosystems, identify key challenges and opportunities, and establish baseline metrics to track progress.

2. Action Planning: Based on the assessment findings, regions develop action plans tailored to their specific needs and goals. These plans may include strategies to enhance entrepreneurship education, attract and retain talent, support startups and small businesses, and foster collaboration among ecosystem stakeholders.

3. Implementation: Once the action plan is developed, regions begin implementing initiatives to strengthen their innovation ecosystems. MIT REAP provides ongoing support and guidance throughout the implementation process.

4. Monitoring and Evaluation: MIT REAP emphasizes the importance of monitoring and evaluating progress to ensure that initiatives are effective and achieving desired outcomes. Regions track key performance indicators and adjust their strategies as needed.

Meet the team

John Goedschalk

Champion, CEO of BioTara

Nature Based Solutions pioneer with over a decade of experience in climate finance, carbon credit development and climate and conservation program design.

Steven Coutinho

Champion, CEO at Coutinho & Company NV

Looking beyond conditioning, I realize I am not a CEO. That’s a role. I am not a public speaker or author either. “Who I am” I cannot define: any definition would be subjective and second hand, moving me to fly like a kite in the winds of other people’s definitions, labels and perceptions of “I”…

Justin Ho

Junior Economic Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Currently advising and representing the Minister on attracting foreign direct investments to Suriname and facilitating investors with existing and new projects.

Guillaume Kloof

Managing director Valley Date Tech

Connecting startups and investors more efficiently around the world.

Sherida Mormon

Founder & Managing DirectorFounder & Managing Director ABIC

Development Economist l Strategic Policy Development I CSR policy I Community & Business Development I SDG policy development

Rudolf Elias

EY Caribbean Senior Advisor

 With over 35 years of global and regional business experience, I am eager to work with Caribbean companies on their key strategic agendas.

Join us for a better Suriname

Yes, the road ahead may be challenging, but let us not be daunted by the obstacles that lie in our path. Instead, let us see them as stepping stones towards our shared vision of a brighter, more prosperous Suriname.