Sunday, July 12, 2020

Guayacán Kicks Off 15th EnterPRize Competition—Online

By on March 17, 2020

Yari Helfeld and Julio César Morales, of theater company Y No Había Luz attend an EnterPRize workshop (Courtesy)

Seeks to Help Start Up Businesses Despite Government’s Outbreak Measures 

SAN JUAN — The 15th edition of Grupo Guayacán’s business-building competition, EnterPRize, will kick off Thursday via social media, the startup accelerator’s executive director, Laura Cantero, and EnterPRize program manager, Katerina Sánchez, told Caribbean Business.

In this online launch, participants will be able to learn about the structure and the competition’s schedule, the sponsors and prizes available, the requirements needed to apply, and how the application process works.

“Traditionally, the competition had phases, one phase for the semifinalists and later we would cut it down to the finalist phase. This year we decided to eliminate the semifinalist phase and accept 25 companies and that those 25 companies could benefit from the 16 business education workshops,” Sánchez explained during an interview with CB.

The 25 finalists are competing for the opportunity to win the seed capital awards in different categories ranging from $20,000 to $30,000.

(Courtesy)

EnterPRize’s objective is to strengthen startups through a rigorous educational curriculum, mentoring and access to capital.

This year’s edition features a new structure of special prizes organized in six pillars, or focus areas, with one or more sponsors.

Cantero said that since last week, Grupo Guayacán has been evaluating alternatives for how to go about the application process amid the lockdown and curfew implemented by the government due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“We decided to launch it this week for several reasons,” Cantero stressed. “The first one is that there is a list of entrepreneurs that were on the waiting list, waiting for the launch of the competition and when we had announced that the launching was slated for Thursday, over 200 people registered.” 

She added that in “the middle of the entire emergency, this kind of program serves to counteract all the other news.”

“We wanted to launch it this week,” Cantero assured. “This is our way of saying we are moving forward and, once the emergency is over, Guayacán is here to support our entrepreneurs.”

An EnterPRize workshop (Courtesy)

This year’s EnterPRize competition consists of a new structure of special awards, totaling at least $20,000:

  • Agro-Business and Foods Award, $20,000, sponsored by Puerto Rico Farm Credit, and Walmart Puerto Rico
  • Art and Culture Awards: $20,000, sponsored by Fundación Ángel Ramos and Fundación Flamboyán
  • Social Impact Award, $21,000, sponsored by Popular Inc., Grupo Ferré Rangel and Causa Local
  • Innovation and Technology Award, $30,000 sponsored by Liberty Puerto Rico, Ferraiuoli LLC, Assurant and Firstbank
  • Health Innovation Award, $20,000, sponsored by MCS Foundation
  • Woman Entrepreneur Award, $23,750, sponsored by Oriental Bank, Titín Foundation, TOTE, Aerostar Airport Holdings and Familia Díaz Rivera

In addition to the six focus area awards, the student entrepreneur prize will be awarded for a fifth consecutive year. It’s sponsored by the local Entrepreneurs’ Organization chapter, and some $3,000 in seed capital will be awarded to the winner, which will also have the opportunity to be Puerto Rico’s representative at the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) in 2021.

In addition, Guayacán will offer three main competition prices ($25,000, $15,000 and $10,000, respectively). Those three winners will also receive billboard space sponsored by bMedia Group.

More information on the competition can be found at Grupo Guayacán’s Facebook page: @guayacanorg; Instagram: @grupoguayacanpr; Twitter: @GrupoGuayacan and LinkedIn: Grupo Guayacán.  For more information on the application process, visit www.guayacan.org.

Those interested in participating in the competition should complete the online application on or before April 30. 

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