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Bravo Family Foundation announces ’22 Rising Entrepreneurs Program winners

The Bravo Family Foundation announced the winners of its Rising Entrepreneurs Program, a business acceleration initiative aimed at promoting the growth of emerging high-potential technology and innovation startups with capital, mentorship, and a world-class curriculum.

The foundation, which increased the number of winners in this edition of the program, awarded local startups Tasty Smart, Barras, and Piezas Rush the first prize of $50,000 each and startups Guariké and Seed with a special prize of $15,000 each in the social impact and export categories, respectively.

The Foundation also announced a new open call starting Nov. 1 for a new generation of startups to participate in Rising Entrepreneurs Program’s 2023 edition.

“We continue to open opportunities and develop scalable startups. Strengthening and providing tools and resources to boost Puerto Rico startups promotes the economic development of our island,” said Orlando Bravo, co-founder, and chairman of the Bravo Family Foundation board and founder and managing partner of Thoma Bravo.

Under the pillars of knowledge, access, and capital, the program offers the necessary tools and contacts to help founders of the participating startups to run their businesses successfully and expand them locally and internationally.

Tasty Smart is a food company specializing in gluten-free, plant-based healthy snacks. In a short time, it has achieved a high level of acceptance in the local market, reaching a presence in 90% of supermarket chains and pharmacies. Recently, Tasty Smart started exporting to the other Caribbean and eastern US markets.

Rush Parts is a tech platform that facilitates the repair service of household appliances by providing quick access to the parts, resulting in better customer service and an excellent opportunity for technicians who belong to the network. In a short time, Rush Parts has achieved great acceptance in Puerto Rico and is now getting ready to expand to markets on the U.S. mainland.

Meanwhile, Barras offers a broad and creative line of handcrafted soaps and lotions at its online store, select local establishments, and a newly opened point of sale at The Mall of San Juan. 

The Rising Entrepreneurs Program is a business acceleration initiative to promote the growth of high-potential innovative startups. The program provides its participants, who are young purpose-driven entrepreneurs, the knowledge, capital, and connections they need to develop and operate their technology-based businesses successfully, the nonprofit stated.

“It fills us with pride to see the emergence and growth of the startups that have graduated from the program and their commitment to helping and mentoring young entrepreneurs from the foundation’s other programs, especially high school students in our Empowering Young Entrepreneurs program,” said Blanca Santos, executive director of the Bravo Family Foundation.

The program’s curriculum addresses fundamental concepts necessary for running, building, and scaling a business, including how to strengthen marketing strategies and optimize a product or service. In addition, the participants receive individualized support from the BBF team, talks with local business leaders, and access to mentors from private equity firm Thoma Bravo.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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