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Grupo Guayacán kicks off 13th edition of its EnterPRize business competition

Liana O’Drobinak, president of the MCS Foundation, sponsors of this year’s Health Innovation award.

Grupo Guayacán Inc. (GGI) announced the official kick-off of its 2018 EnterPRize Business Competition, which provides startups with access to an educational curriculum including workshops, mentoring, coaching, and the opportunity to compete for more than $125,000 in equity free seed capital from GGI and a group of corporate partners.

The kick-off event took place Mar. 24 at Fundación Banco Popular in Hato Rey and featured a keynote by Robert “Bob” Dávila, former GGI Executive Director and veteran instructor of the organization’s entrepreneurial development programs.

During the event, participants received an orientation about this year’s competition, the cash prizes available, and how to apply. Attendees also had the opportunity to meet the sponsors of the Special Track Prizes.

The competition’s top three ventures will receive $50,000 in prizes by GGI: $25,000, $15,000, and $10,000, respectively. The three top winners will also receive $240,000 in billboard space, sponsored by BMedia.

Start-ups are also eligible to compete for an additional $76,000 in Special Track Prizes in a series of specialty focus areas sponsored by a varied group of collaborators from different sectors and industries. The following prizes are back for the 2018 competition.

  • Agribusiness & Food: $12,000 sponsored by Puerto Rico Farm Credit, Puerto Rico Coffee Roasters and Caribbean Produce Exchange. Puerto Rico Farm Credit will offer an additional $4,000 prize to the business that demonstrates the greatest level of innovation in agriculture.
  • Social Enterprise: $10,000 sponsored by Fundación Banco Popular
  • Customer Experience: $10,000 sponsored by Liberty Puerto Rico
  • Innovation: $5,000 sponsored by Ferraiuoli LLC
  • Supply Chain Logistics: $5,000 sponsored by TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico
  • Environmental Conservation: $5,000 sponsored by FirstBank
  • Creative Industries: $5,000 sponsored by the Puerto Rico Trade & Export Company
  • Student Entrepreneur: $2,500 plus a direct pass to the 2019 Global Student Entrepreneur Awards sponsored by Entrepreneur’s Organization Puerto Rico Chapter
  • Technology: Direct pass to programming course valued at $6,000, sponsored by Codetrotters
  • Sharing Economy: Membership to Piloto 151 Café valued at $3,000, sponsored by Piloto 151

Four new prizes were also added to the 2018 lineup:

  • Health Innovation: $10,000 sponsored by MCS Foundation
  • Woman Entrepreneur: $5,000 sponsored by Friends of Puerto Rico
  • Disruption: $2,500 sponsored by Integro Success Unlimited
  • Tourism & Hospitality: Membership to the Kingbird Innovation Center valued at $3,000, sponsored by Kingbird Innovation Center en la Universidad del Este

EnterPRize is GGI’s longest-standing entrepreneurial development offering, and continues to evolve by strengthening its educational curriculum and adding new partnerships for Special Track Prizes.

This year’s competition will feature 16 educational workshops offered by a series of expert instructors from Puerto Rico and international guest speakers.

The workshop topics include: Lean Start-Up Methodology, Business Model Canvas, Financials & Revenue Models, Marketing & Sales, and Legal Concepts & IP Protection, among many others. The curriculum also features additional workshops and coaching from veteran angel investors that are part of the Angel Resource Institute, the leading organization in early stage investment education.

The educational curriculum is complemented with a series of coaching sessions where start-ups will have the opportunity to pitch their ventures to a group of experienced entrepreneurs, investors, service providers, and instructors who will provide feedback and recommendations.

The competition will focus on its selection process on the following criteria: highly innovative idea and business model, significant market potential, and strong team. EnterPRize’s eligibility requirements are the following:

  • Be an original project of the team;
  • Be based in Puerto Rico;
  • Not have received institutional investment before entering the competition;
  • Have less than $500,000 in revenues and $100,000 in liabilities since inception;
  • Be in operations for less than 5 years; and,
  • Have a team with at least two members.

Those interested in participating in EnterPRize 2018 must complete an online application on or before May 1st. Selected semi-finalist teams will be announced on May 22.

The semi-finals will take place during the month of June, while the finalists phase will happen from August to November. The competition concludes with an awards ceremony on Dec. 13th.

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

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