I was super excited to learn about the new 90 Miles podcast, a conversation featuring innovative voices on and off the island.
karen vierbuchen
Photo credit: Karen Vierbuchen

90 Miles Podcast reminds me (I didn’t really need a reminder) that one of the coolest things about working in the space between the United States and Cuba is the people we get to meet and collaborate with. There’s an acknowledgment of humanity that sees through the noise, a collective sense of vision for what could be. It’s refreshing and it reaffirms my belief that knowing each other paves the path to making things better — as uphill as that path has been and will likely be for a while.

Startup Cuba’s humble contribution to this comes in the form of media. Especially media about innovators and startups. It’s what we know, love, and want to see more of. So, I was super excited to learn that some very knowledgable friends in the space were establishing the new 90 Miles podcast (listen on Soundcloud), a twice-monthly 30-minute conversation and analysis featuring innovative voices on and off the island.

The podcast was born out of our desire to continue projecting important voices from the island and connect Cubans and Americas.

90 Miles Podcast

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The first episode, which launches today, features an interview with Liber Puente, the founder & CEO of Tostonet with analysis by Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis. Episode number two features Marta Deus of Negolution, profiled in Episode 9 of Startup Cuba‘s docuseries.

90 miles podcast
90 Miles podcast featuring Liber Puente. Illustration credit: 90 Miles
90 miles podcast
90 Miles podcast featuring Marta Deus. Illustration credit: 90 Miles

But rather than me telling you about all this, I thought I’d share the email Q&A exchange I had with the team (edited for clarification only).

My Chat With the 90 Miles Podcast Team

Startup Cuba: Who is behind the podcast and who is hosting it?

90 Miles: We’re a small team of Cubans, Americans and Cuban Americans (and American Cubans). A group that has been fortunate to spend time in both the U.S. and Cuba and have strong connections on both sides of the Florida Straits. 

Startup Cuba: What inspired you to start it?  How long have you been thinking of launching it?

90 Miles: We were working on a number of initiatives to connect creatives in Cuba and the US, but they became impossible due to COVID19. The podcast was born out of our desire to continue projecting important voices from the island and connect Cubans and Americans. It’s a pandemic baby, but we’re excited about what’s been born and believe it will be a valuable tool well into the future.  

The clear and concise analysis helps understand the moment Cuba is living…

90 Mile Podcast

Startup Cuba: What type of content do you plan to produce? What type of guests will you host?

90 Miles: Listeners should expect a half-hour podcast twice a month that features innovative voices from the island and expert analysis from on and off the island. We’ll mainly focus on Cuban creatives, featuring interviews with entrepreneurs and artists with interesting projects. We’re really fortunate to have Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis as an advisor and expert. The first two programs will feature him as a guest analyst offering insight into what’s going on in Cuba and with U.S.-Cuba relations.  

Startup Cuba: What do you hope people takeaway from it when listening?

90 Miles: We suspect that listeners will be impressed with the stories told by our guests. Many times the human element of Cuba is lost in the shuffle —real people overshadowed by the politics— and it’s fun and inspiring to hear about obstacles, opportunities, life choices, the thinking process at a personal level for some of Cuba’s brightest thinkers and doers. It’s likely that will leave listeners impressed with the talent and potential of Cuban creatives and inspire continued engagement.      

Startup Cuba: Who should listen? Where can they find it?  

90 Miles: The podcast is produced in a way that makes it interesting and helpful to Cuba watchers —those that follow all things Cuba closely— but it’s great listening for anyone. The clear and concise analysis helps understand the moment Cuba is living during that episode and the interviews feature fun, inspiring stories that folks unfamiliar with Cuba will enjoy. 

Related Post: The Cuban Entrepreneurs: Startup Cuba Docuseries #1

It’s available on Soundcloud, Spotify, iTunes and Google podcasts. In Cuba, those having trouble accessing those platforms can receive the podcast via WhatsApp or Telegram. 

Startup Cuba: Is it recorded in Cuba or the States, or both?

90 Miles: The production is diverse and crosses borders like our team. The first two episodes are recorded in both the US and Cuba and we believe that will likely be the pattern in the future.  

(Cover photo credit: Alejandro Rojas)

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Ken Deckinger is the co-founder and CEO of Startup Cuba and the executive producer and host of its namesake docuseries. A native of South Florida, Ken has been an entrepreneur for his entire professional career. Previously he was co-founder and CEO of HurryDate, pioneering the global concept of speed dating to 45 cities throughout the US, UK and Canada. HurryDate eventually evolved into online dating and was acquired by Spark Networks, the parent company of ChristianMingle.com and JDate.com. Ken is a graduate of Boston College and the University of Florida, where he was honored with the University’s Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year Under 40 award and sits on the Board for the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He actively advises entrepreneurs and is a two-time protagonist of a Harvard Business School case study. Ken’s filmmaking and journalistic journey is inspired by a love of travel and authentic connections with other cultures. He believes that the more we know about each other, through stories, the closer we can become — thus the mission of Startup Cuba: to amplify the voices of the people sharing stories in the Latinx space. After living in New York City for 15 years, he encouraged his wife to move their family to Miami to get back to his South Florida roots. Needless to say, it was a short discussion and he and his family now call Boston, where his wife grew up, their home.

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