A delegation of five Puerto Rican startups are participating technological innovation event South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive in Austin, Texas this week, supported by Puerto Rico Trade and Export and the Small Business Administration.
Trade and Export Executive Director Francisco Chévere the group will have the opportunity to present their business ideas to the audience of this renowned event in the Innovation Latin America category on Tuesday. The five local companies participating are: Campodata Inc, Celero Health Solutions, Digital Media Creations, Space Rhino Games and Tix.By.
“SXSW Interactive offers the unique convergence of emerging industries and investors who seek new technologies and products to invest in, which is attended annually by some 72,000 people from different countries,” he said.
This is the second consecutive year that the government agency coordinates the participation of Puerto Rican startups in the event that year after year has become a launching pad for new creative applications, he said.
Aside from coordinating group’s participation, Puerto Rico trade and the SBA organized an additional event on Sunday — with the support of Parallel18, Puerto Rico Science and Technology Research Trust, and Rones de Puerto Rico — the through which the local startups had the chance to present their ideas and interact with investors.
Participation in SXSW is part of Trade and Export’s “PRO-TECH” program that aims to encourage the creation of new technology-based companies on the island and support their survival in its early stages, providing funding and the necessary environment for innovation, mentoring and marketing their products and services.
Each startup also gets free office space, access to initial capital budget for marketing, legal counseling and social media training to help promote and market products and services.
As part of the “PRO-TECH” 2016 program, 26 new companies were chosen as semifinalists and given a workshop by the Angel Resource Institute and two individual training sessions on how to pitch to investors, with the support of Grupo Guayacán and the Founder Institute in Puerto Rico. From those, nine finalists were chosen by an evaluation committee to present during the H3 Tech Conference held in Puerto Rico last November. The five companies in Texas this week won their slots during that event late last year.
PRO-TECH receives funding from the SBA.