Plaza Las Américas and MasterCard announced Monday the four finalists chosen for the last leg of the “Journey to Business Success” initiative that will offer the winner a chance to establish a freestanding cart at the mall, free for six months, and receive a $10,000 debit card.
The finalists are: Glutenfrei, KÓSTUM, Linda Mami and Paris Macarons.
“We are excited to prove once again that there is a desire to grow and produce for the island, given that we received 100 entries with great business concepts for this competition,” said Jaime Fonalledas, president of Plaza Las Américas, during a news conference at the mall.
“The four companies that were selected as finalists offer consumers innovativeproducts, created by hand, which could stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the island,” he said “Very talented young entrepreneurs developed attractive business concepts that serve a niche market.”
The “Journey to Business Success” competition was launched in September, to provide a new or starting retail company the opportunity to accelerate the growth of their business through a platform of benefits and incentives.
Competition participants and finalists will get the chance to attend financial education workshops provided by MasterCard and orientation sessions offered by Puerto Rico Trade and Export. The winner will also have the opportunity to apply for incentives available through the agency.
“MasterCard is very pleased with the broad participation of young entrepreneurs in this ‘priceless’ initiative to boost the success of businesses in Puerto Rico,” said Manuel Catedral, general manager of MasterCard Puerto Rico.
“The finalists submitted proposals that were interesting, as well as sustainable, which certainly will lead to opportunities for these businesses,” Catedral said.
Glutenfrei, a company founded by Ailed González-Quintana and sister Daisyré González-Quintana, is dedicated to the manufacture of gluten-free baked goods and dairy products. Currently their products are sold in select coffee shops in Puerto Rico and their desire is to offer their products to more people, they said in their proposal.
KÓSTUM, is a company owned by Karina Montañez and Dennis Arán, dedicated to manufacturing dog hygiene products. Linda Mami, a company owned by Ivdia Velázquez-Cordero, is dedicated to developing skin care products for pregnant women.
Finally, Paris Macarons, is a company owned by entrepreneurs Obed García and Agustín Rodríguez-Torres, who is also a pastry chef. They are dedicated to manufacturing of traditional Parisians macaroons, but adapted to the Puerto Rican palate.
Finalists are to submit their business plans on Nov. 21 and and will present their proposals to a select group of retailers and the media on Nov. 24. The winner will be announced during the first week of December.