25 startups vie for $100K in seed capital from ‘Conectando tu negocio al éxito’
A group of 25 startup companies have moved on to the final stage of the “Conectando tu negocio al éxito” program, which is a joint initiative by Liberty Foundation and Grupo Guayacán established to provide training, mentoring and seed capital to local entrepreneurs, reaching businesses across Puerto Rico.
The program kicked off in June 2022 with entrepreneurial education workshops for 100 participating businesses hailing from 44 municipalities throughout the island. The training consisted of nine workshops on topics related to business management and entrepreneurial development.
After the initial educational phase, finalists were selected based on the participants’ performance and their companies’ growth potential.
“Participating in an entrepreneurial capacity-building program has allowed us to look at our business from another perspective and address many of our areas of opportunity. The knowledge we’ve acquired is already an asset, and we will use it to further support our growth,” said Mizael Sánchez from Piketú, one of the finalist companies based in the municipality of Bayamón, dedicated to manufacturing natural hot sauces (without preservatives or vinegar) through a fermentation process that is unique in Puerto Rico.
Over the next few weeks, the finalists will focus on developing their business pitch, which they will present to a panel of judges on March 17, competing for $100,000 in seed capital to be distributed among three top winners.
“The business education we’ve received has reinforced our entrepreneurial skills to ensure a profitable and effective business model, making our services accessible to the vulnerable communities we serve,” said Lorimar Ortiz of The Way Family Clinic, a comprehensive clinic that provides postpartum services for mothers, infants and their families in Coamo.
“This experience has undoubtedly allowed us to reaffirm our mission and develop concrete plans for growth,” she said.
“Conectando tu Negocio al éxito” aims to promote innovation and growth in Puerto Rico’s entrepreneurial ecosystem to boost the island’s socioeconomic development.
The 25 finalists are: BODHI (Toa Baja), Caribbean Swine Industry (Utuado), Clínica Terapéutica del Ejercicio y la Salud (Barranquitas), Cocó Candles (San Juan), DEMA Lab Services (Ponce), ESCUCHA, PSC (Cayey), Finca El Edén (Camuy), Finca Yararí (Jayuya), Fofuchas (San Juan), Gustitos (Caguas), Learningbp (Ponce), Leo Leo Libros (San Juan), María Blondet (San Juan), Médico Online PR (Patillas), Perfect Creations (Trujillo Alto), Pik Photobooth (Canóvanas), Piketú (Bayamón), Pira Rum (San Juan), Raising a Brain (Caguas), Rancho Orgánico Feliz (San Sebastián), Sierra Linda Glamping (Aibonito), Somos Únicos (Guaynabo), The Way Family Clinic (Coamo), Translucent Ice Company (Isabela), and Zero Damage (Isabela).
“Conectando tu Negocio al Éxito” had a total investment of $500,000 granted that the Liberty Foundation granted to Grupo Guayacán. These funds are part of a $1 million grant that Liberty Puerto Rico channeled through its philanthropic arm in 2021 to promote socioeconomic development in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, entity officials said.