Grupo Guayacán awards $247K in seed capital to local enterprises
Twelve local enterprises were awarded $246,500 in seed capital as a result of their participation in the sixteenth edition of the EnterPRize business competition organized by Grupo Guayacán.
TerraFirma, which develops technology to measure and mitigate the impact of climate change on the island, became the top winner, earning two important awards that add up to $50,000 in seed capital: the first place in Guayacán’s competition, which grants $25,000, as well as the special $25,000 award for Innovation & Technology, sponsored by Assurant, Ferraiuoli LLC, Liberty Puerto Rico, and Titín Foundation.
Cuela, a company that offers an electronic platform for users to purchase coffee from the best coffee growers and roasters in the island, earned a total of $35,000 in prizes: the second-place award granted by Guayacán ($15,000) plus a special award for Agrifood Entrepreneur ($20,000) sponsored by Puerto Rico Farm Credit and Walmart Puerto Rico.
Meanwhile, Buen Provecho Nutrition Services, a nutrition services company, also won two awards, adding up to $30,000 in seed capital: the third place award of Guayacán’s competition ($10,000) and the award for Health Innovation ($20,000), sponsored by MCS Foundation. The top three winners will also receive billboard spaces sponsored by bMedia Group, valued at more than $240,000.
“We’re celebrating 25 years of Guayacán by awarding almost a quarter million dollars in seed capital to local entrepreneurs who lead important projects that will boost the island’s economic development, said Laura Cantero, Grupo Guayacán’s executive director.
“We’re proud that our organization’s growth is both a cause and an effect of the development of our business sector. The mission that led to the founding of Guayacán was to provide local entrepreneurs with tools that would help them contribute to Puerto Rico. The support from our collaborators and alumni allows us to continue upholding that commitment,” she added.
Other prizes were also awarded with the support of the EnterPRize program’s sponsor organizations. These awardees included the company Asset Shelf, which offers a platform to purchase surplus raw materials from construction projects. They earned a total of $25,000 in seed capital: a $20,000 prize sponsored by FirstBank in recognition of Community Revitalization and Stabilization, and a surprise $5,000 prize for Social Impact, awarded by Luis Alberto Ferré Rangel and Sarah Bird.
Meanwhile, Pintá, which sells gel nail polish and manicure accessories, won a total of $23,000 with the Women Entrepreneur award, sponsored by Aerostar Airport Holdings, EMR Advisors, the Díaz Rivera family, Oriental, Gol Global, and TOTE.
Another winner was AWA, which makes and sells waterproof products to use at the beach, pools, and rivers. They won the Visitor Economy award for a total of $20,000, sponsored by the Puerto Rico Tourism Company.
Terra Nostra, an agricultural food manufacturing company, won the award for sustainability, sponsored by Popular Inc., and Teatro Público won an award for Arts & Culture, sponsored by the Flamboyán Arts Fund and Fundación Ángel Ramos. Both awards were for $20,000 each.
The investors who collaborate with the program chose Quibble, a company that offers a technological platform to increase tourist rental profits, as their favorite option, granting it a prize of $10,500.
Company Candid Society, which develops products and initiatives to raise awareness on mental health, also won a $5,000 surprise award that night, En Buena Compañía (“In Good Company”) from Hyundai, as well as the $5,000 Sembrando el Futuro prize, which they had already received thanks to the audience’s support during the EnterPRize Judging Session on Nov. 5, for a total of $10,000.
TerraNova Urbana’s project for patio and roof rentals to practice urban agroecology won the Student Entrepreneur award ($3,000) sponsored by EO Puerto Rico. TerraNova Urbana will have the opportunity to represent Puerto Rico in the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) 2022 competition.
Lastly, Löfte Natural Care won the Banquetazo award to work on a rebranding plan, sponsored by Mampostea’o and valued at $5,000.
A total of 28 local enterprises participated in this year’s EnterPRize competition, which was sponsored in part by the Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC, in Spanish).
During the awards ceremony, Grupo Guayacán celebrated the closure of its 2021 programs and its 25 years of working to support the island’s entrepreneurs.