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15 EnterPRize competition semifinalists announced

Grupo Guayacán, a Puerto Rican nonprofit venture capital firm, announced Wednesday the selection of the top 15 business proposals submitted in this year’s EnterPRize Business Plan competition.

Describing the selection process as “tough due to the great business proposals received,” Guayacán officials narrowed down the list to potential start-ups from a cross section of industries.

This year’s selected proposals were submitted by professionals (47 percent), college students (2 percent) and entrepreneurs (27 percent). Participating industries are: services (27 percent), computer and technology (27 percent), health (20 percent), education (13 percent), manufacturing (7 percent), and agricultural (7 percent).

The selected teams that will move to the next round will participate in a series of specialized entrepreneurial workshops that will provide them with the tools to finalize their business plan and prepare them to present their businesses to potential judges and investors, Guayacán said Wednesday.

Aside from bestowing awards of $25,000, $15,000 and $10,000 in cash to the top three winners, for the first time since its establishment, the EnterPRize competition will grant two special awards in the categories of “transactional technology” and “women entrepreneurs,” sponsored by Evertec and Doral Bank, respectively.

This year’s competitors are:
1.  Action & Adventure
— A company that seeks to connect international customers looking for a personalized Eco-tourism and nature sports experience with local providers. The providers will also have the opportunity to expand their business through more effective exposure to customers around the world. 

2. Barlovento Brewing — A nano-brewery committed to the motto of producing “epic ales for big tasting people” while incorporating the island’s flavor identity. Its goal is to provide a product that adds variety to the local craft beer industry, while ultimately projecting Puerto Rico’s culture internationally through beer. 

3. CitaMed.net — A fully automated appointment confirmation service focused on doctors and healthcare facilities.

4. Collect — A mobile app that integrates the wireless mobile technology in business to provide clients a food-ordering alternative that manages time efficiently and promotes service excellence. The app focuses on providing clients a quick and convenient option to order food wirelessly.   

5. DocMimi — Puerto Rico’s first interactive online medical directory allows searching for needed healthcare services. The tool allows users to check availability and make appointment online, eliminating the hassle of calling different health providers to check if they accept their health plan. It also builds a social networking community that provides recommendations, share reviews, offers and discounts from health professionals.

6. E.C.O.S.S.S., Inc. — The company’s main objective is to develop a high quality, high volume continuous production system under controlled environment conditions. It is capable of adjusting production to market trends in the high-profit organic commodities industry, estimated at $29.2 billion in 2011. The modules will be available for domestic and industrial use.

7. Manage my Nest — The company seeks to provide innovative services, delivered through digital delivery channels (initially the Cloud), for any form of shared ownership or multi-tenant properties (condos, gated communities, marinas, government housing, commercial buildings, etc.).

8. Memory Palace — Provides a patent-pending new technology to help students prepare for memory intensive exams. The plan calls for launching with a product for the Multi-State Bar Exam (MBE), the proponents said.

9. Mi mesa es tu mesa — Pursues creating a web-based “peer-to-peer” platform that allows chefs to offer daily services from their home. All services will be paid online through the platform.

10. NitroSOS — An online sales optimization system that integrates major supply chain components to benefit grocery retail small and medium businesses (GRSMBs) to address challenges with product information management to avoid high earnings losses. NitroSOS empowers GRSMBs so they can increase their earnings by an average of 30 percent while doubling their cash flow, the business proposal states.

11. Novobiotek Dental Implants — Globaldental, Inc. is a medical device development company that designs, patents, and market medical devices related to oral surgery. Three devices have already been designed with the participation of leading oral clinicians and surgeons. The patent pending devices were developed keeping in mind a current need in oral surgery to provide patients minimally invasive surgical procedures that offer faster healing time with reduced post-surgery complications.

12. OTeC Isle — This start-up proposes commercializing a solution that would help people with health symptoms treatable with over-the-counter medication to find the one that is right for them through an interactive experience.

13. PagoColegio.com — This low-cost payment platform is a 24/7 service that provides convenience and flexibility to parents with fast-paced lifestyles to go online to pay for school activities, such as annual enrollment, monthly payments, school events, books and uniforms, among others.

14. Peace ‘n Loaf — This start-up proposes establishing the first vegetarian pizzeria and artisan bakery chain in Puerto Rico.

15. Transaction Tracker — IVU LOTO regulations require merchants to submit a monthly sales report that poses problems for small businesses lacking a sophisticated cash register to keep record of their daily transactions or a substitute method. Transaction Tracker is a device that would help keep track of sales data and generate compliance reports to avoid fines, at a fraction of the cost of current alternatives.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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