Gov’t awards $700K in Teodoro Moscoso scholarships to 20 students
The Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC, in Spanish), through its Youth Development Program, bestowed close to $700,000 in Teodoro Moscoso Scholarship funding to 20 students in Puerto Rico, the agency announced.
This round of funding pushing the total awarded through this scholarship program to $1 million since last year, agency officials said.
In addition, 39 people between the ages of 13 and 29, and youth support organizations, nominated for their actions in favor of a better society during the 2021 calendar year, were awarded the Governor’s Medal and four were awarded the Puerto Rican Youth Medal, in different categories.
The participants were nominated by citizens and by public and private entities, as established by Act No. 22 that created the award in 1987.
“For us at the DDEC it’s a source of pride and joy to be able to validate, through the Youth Development Program, many of the contributions made by so many young people throughout the island,” said DDEC Undersecretary Iris “Chiqui” Santos.
“They’re definitely an example to be followed by their peers and other members of society, for their dedication, dedication and passion for what they do, at the service of others,” she said.
“We congratulate them and remind them that there is a work team in the DDEC more than 100% committed to helping you in your endeavors and personal goals, which in turn result in collective well-being,” Santos said.
Tuto LLC wins $20,000 seed funding
In related news, entrepreneur Yanmaí Alicea, founder of Tuto LLC, won $20,000 in seed funding during the Puerto Rico INNOVA competition.
Her concept was recognized as the best business idea and she will use the funding to develop an application listing tutoring and mentoring offers.
“Tuto, more than an innovative company, is a Puerto Rican project. Puerto Rico Innova gave me the boost I needed to finally make an idea come true that I have been cultivating for a few years. I’m very grateful for the support they have given me to develop educational technologies on the island,” Alicea said.
She, along with another four finalists, presented her idea during the Demo Day event and learned of her win after an evaluation by a jury.
The second prize of $15,000 in seed capital was granted to Sachira Rodríguez, to expand her company St. Gría, a sangria prepared with whiskey, sparkling wine, and vodka, among other ingredients.
And the third prize of $10,000 was granted to Gadiel Morales-Martínez, to develop Gtecs PR, a company that will offer charger solutions and services for electric vehicles. The other competition finalists were Ana Aponte-García, creator of the company Flood Tech Inc.; and Ángel Hernández, creator of Educa Group LLC.
“More than 100 entrepreneurs participated and five reached the final. We know that many of those who started this process will continue to develop their businesses and we will soon see the fruits of their sacrifice and dedication,” said Soraya Morón-Vélez, assistant secretary of Strategic Operations at the DDEC.
This second call began last November, when 107 applicants embarked on the first phase of the training program, when they were prepared themselves in the following areas: potential client or consumer, product, service or establishment development, advertising and promotion, sale and distribution, economic model, permits and legal aspects, incentives and access to capital, feasibility of the business idea, and drafting of a business plan, said Jorge Pagán, director of the DDEC’s Trade and Export program.
The group was subsequently whittled down to the five finalists.
Puerto Rico Innova is an initiative that seeks to empower local entrepreneurs to forge a vision that allows them to generate new ideas that foster business projects with high potential for expansion and development. It is subsidized by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.
“Puerto Rico needs to implement new resources and initiatives that help boost our local small and medium businesses. We all must help them to undertake their innovative projects, their magnificent ideas,” Pagán said. “We know that it’s not easy for everyone to start alone from scratch.”