Smile event 2023, USM, University of St Martin, Philipsburg



SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) – The 4th Edition of The St. Maarten Innovation, Initiatives & Industries Link-Up Event (SMILE) has started its build-up at the University Sint. Maarten (USM) for its October 27th and 28th events.


The fourth edition of SMILE carries the theme “Make Your Business Future Proof”, aligning with the event’s traditional three values innovation, sustainability and business networking.


Amongst SMILE’s 2023 keynote speakers, relating to the above themes, are Meghan Smith (former Chief Technology Officer President Obama and former Vice President of Google, United States), Tyrell Pantophlet (founder PLAEX, St. Maarten / Neth.), Susan Alzner (United Nations, United States), Clara Reyes (Department of Culture Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth & Sports, St Maarten), James Ellsmoor (Island Innovations, Portugal) and Kris Bouwstra (DYNAF, Curacao).


In its ambition to grow as an all-round St Maarten business fair new elements have been added to SMILE. An important new feature of SMILE’23 is the “SMART Tourism Room”. The room and its masterclasses are meant as “Tourism Incubator” to provide insights in global and regional tourism trends to St. Maarten / St. Martin tourism players. Speakers in this room are amongst others Matt Cooper (TravelCultureCollab), Jody Diamond (Diamond PR), Noelani Schroy (LodgIQ) and Mary Pinto (Reservhotel). Content of this room is centered on how tourism players, small and large, can make use of current trends in travel. Diamond PR being the dedicated agency for promoting the island in the United States, the meeting is also a platform for St. Maarten tourism companies wanting to relay their message.


Another addition since SMILE’s previous 2022 edition is its SMILE Job Program. Organizer SHTA has asked its members and others to send in vacancies. The National Employment Service Centre (NESC) has assisted in spreading news about the job matchmaking; R4CR Foundation assisted in making the SMILE addition possible. With on-event match making, organizer SHTA and its members hope to assist those St. Maarten residents in need of work.


SMILE continues its additions with ‘Business Bites’ a networking lunch where SMILE attendees, St. Maarten Flavors sponsors and participating restaurants can connect, collaborate, and promote their respective industries.


SHTA thanks Grant Thornton, The Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth & Sport (MECYS) Dynaf and Recruit a Student; Permanent representation of the Netherlands in Philipsburg, Ministry of Social Affairs and Climate, the Bureau of Intellectual Property, Toppers Rhum, Pelikaan Beer, Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten, CC1 St. Maarten, Autobev Systems and the University of St. Martin, for supporting SMILE’s fourth edition.


Entry fees to SMILE are being kept to a minimum to allow entry to all small and medium enterprises (79$). Fellow NGOs are allowed complementary entry to support their cause; the same applies to job seekers.


Registering for the event is however required in all cases via or +1-721-542-0108. General information about the SMILE event can be obtained via the same contacts.





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