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Endeavor Puerto Rico creates initiatives to support local entrepreneurs

Five years after starting operations in Puerto Rico, the local Endeavor office is launching a series of structured networking initiatives called “Huddles,” which aim to give Puerto Rican entrepreneurs with a high potential for growth access to the Endeavor network.

The goal is to increase the number of entrepreneurs who qualify to join the network and fully benefit from Endeavor’s global connections, the organization stated.

“Endeavor’s mission is to build successful business ecosystems in emerging markets worldwide. With these Huddles, we want to create spaces where entrepreneurs who have the potential to join the Endeavor network can grow to the level necessary to undergo the global selection process,” said Cristina Tamayo-Pérez, who took on the role of managing director of the local Endeavor office last year.

The first Huddle, called RAISE, was sponsored by Popular and focused on providing a tactical methodology for entrepreneurs to raise capital successfully. RAISE was led by mentor Devin Baptiste, CEO and founder of GroupRaise, who has raised capital more than six times and has assisted founders in raising more than $30 million in private capital.

During the eight-week Huddle, the 11 participating companies spoke with more than 30 investor mentors, received feedback on their pitches and analyzed the best strategies to raise capital for their businesses.

Six months after the Huddle concluded, 55% of the companies that participated in RAISE had raised capital or had funding rounds committed. The total investment raised reached $11.5 million, while committed rounds added up to $2.2 million.

“RAISE gave us the perspective to open a funding round when we hadn’t considered it. Devin’s methodology and advice helped us create a strong pitch,” said Jonathan González, CEO of Raincoat, and a participant in the Huddle.

Raincoat recently announced a $6.5 million raise. The startup offers insurance products to democratize financial resilience against natural disasters.

“The sessions with Devin and the Endeavor Puerto Rico team helped us understand the ideal timing for us to raise capital and why to do it,” said Sofía Stolberg, founder of PilotoMail, which offers a technological solution allowing remote workers to automate their mail management process and create virtual mailrooms.

The next Huddle, named SCALE, will focus on supporting participants as they expand to other markets.

“Puerto Rico has entrepreneurs who have a lot to contribute to global markets. Endeavor aims to create high-impact communities among these entrepreneurs so that once they are successful, they reinvest and help guide new generations of entrepreneurs,” said Tamayo.

“And this is exactly what we want to achieve here, to create a community where members can exchange knowledge and nurture each other,” Tamayo said.

Over the next five years, Endeavor Puerto Rico’s efforts will focus on achieving the goal of adding eight local entrepreneurs to the global network, she said.

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

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