Grupo Guayacán is looking for business ideas and future entrepreneurs who are eager to learn how to start a business in a short, yet intense virtual series of workshops.
This will be the 11th edition of Grupo Guayacán’s I-Corps Puerto Rico (I-Corps PR) program, the idea validation boot camp to be offered online at no cost to selected participants.
I-Corps PR will recruit 30 teams of students, professors and researchers, as well as entrepreneurs from the community at large who are looking to validate a business idea and create a business model with growth potential.
Interested teams must complete an online application by Sept. 4, 2020.
“Puerto Rico is facing great challenges. For that reason, this edition of I-Corps PR will focus on projects supporting sustainability and resilience, such as ideas in renewable energy, disaster-resistant infrastructure, food security, community development, natural resources preservation, climate change, education and public health, among others,” the organization stated.
I-Corps PR is looking for college students and future entrepreneurs with business ideas, who are willing to form two- or three member teams to develop their idea. They will participate in a ‘boot camp’ type of workshop, which will take them through the entire process to determine if their idea is worth pursuing and will help them explore how they can turn it into a viable company with growth capacity.
“We have observed Puerto Rico’s entrepreneurial ecosystem develop exponentially, especially in times of crisis,” said Laura Cantero, executive director of Grupo Guayacán.
“Guayacán has the tools to turn those ideas into solutions that make a significant contribution to Puerto Rico’s economic development. We are grateful to the Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico Fund of the Boston Foundation for awarding us the grant that made this new edition possible,” she said.
Sustainability focused projects will be eligible to compete for three seed capital prizes of $5,000, $2,500, and $1,000, respectively, for the highest potential projects.
Since 2015, I-Corps PR has graduated more than 150 teams. At least 87% of them continue to work on the project they presented or on new ideas that were validated during the workshops.
I-Corps graduates have raised approximately $10 million to continue developing their businesses. Additionally, over 98% of all participants recommend the program for entrepreneurs who are in the initial stage of their business, Guayacán said.
“I-Corps PR is intense and revealing. It is ideal for opening the eyes and minds of those who have a business idea but need to shape it into something real. It is the ideal program to complete as a first step before working on a business project,” said Patricia de la Torre, from Zoom Sum business group and former participant of the last I-Corps PR Cohort X.
“However, what you take away from I-Corps are not just business lessons. You get life lessons. And that can make the difference between having a real business, a goal accomplished, or just having an idea that never gets beyond what you had in your mind,” de la Torre said.
The workshops will be delivered by an experienced group of instructors including Dr. Keith McGreggor, I-Corps South Lead Instructor and Georgia Institute of Technology Professor, as well as entrepreneurs, professionals, and other service providers who have undergone rigorous training in the I-Corps methodology.
The program is also sponsored by the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company.