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Grupo Guayacán opens call for 8th I-Corps P.R. cohort

Grupo Guayacán Inc. (GGI) announced that it will offer the upcoming eighth cohort of its Customer Discovery Boot Camp, I-Corps Puerto Rico (I-Corps PR), at the Gurabo campus of Ana G. Méndez University (AGMU).

This marks the first time that the idea validation program will be offered at this campus, and the second time it’s offered at AGMU. I-Corps PR’s sixth cohort was offered in April 2018 at the Carolina campus.

The program is open to students and faculty of universities in Puerto Rico, as well as community-based entrepreneurial teams looking to validate their business idea and build a scalable business model.

“We’re proud to host this extraordinary initiative to help entrepreneurs develop their business ideas.  We need innovative and transformative ideas, now more than ever, to contribute to Puerto Rico’s development and growth,” said David Méndez, dean for UAGM, Gurabo campus.

I-Corps Puerto Rico is offered through a partnership between GGI and the Georgia Institute of Technology (GT), whose VentureLab manages the regional node for the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps in the southeastern United States.

Since 2015, throughout seven cohorts, the program has graduated more than 100 teams, of which nearly 90 percent are still active. Approximately half of these teams have been university-based, meaning that they are led by students and/or faculty members.

I-Corps graduates have raised more than $5 million in capital to continue developing their ventures, including funding from the National Science Foundation, the Small Business Innovation Research Program, and the Puerto Rico Science & Technology Trust.

More than 98 percent of all past participants recommend the program as an ideal first step for idea-stage teams to carry out an intensive customer discovery process over a short period of time.

“We’re extremely proud of I-Corps Puerto Rico’s immense growth and progress. What started out as a pilot collaboration between GGI and GT to spur the commercialization of innovations stemming from local universities, has become a new cornerstone of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Puerto Rico,” said GGI’s Executive Director Laura Cantero.

“Throughout the past seven cohorts, I-Corps has established itself as a key first step for entrepreneurs at the idea stage, supporting them through a proven methodology for validating the business potential of their idea and saving valuable time, money, and resources in the development phase,” she said.

“We are excited to bring I-Corps to the Gurabo campus and continue strengthening our collaboration with the Ana G. Méndez University. We invite students, faculty and members of the broader community to take full advantage of this opportunity and apply today,” Cantero added.

The five-week program includes a three-day kick off, two weekly meetings and a two-day conclusion workshop where each team presents the findings from the customer discovery process.

The teaching team will be led by Keith McGreggor, Venture Lab Director, entrepreneur, and veteran I-Corps instructor. McGreggor will be joined by a robust local teaching team that includes various entrepreneurs, professionals and other entrepreneurial service providers who have been trained throughout the past I-Corps PR cohorts.

This upcoming I-Corps PR Cohort is sponsored by the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company.

Through the intensive program each team will learn about their potential markets by conducting over 100 customer discovery interviews with likely customers and market influencers. Based on the feedback and evidence gathered through the customer discovery phase, each team will build a business model canvas, detailing the venture’s value propositions, customer segments, key activities, resources and partners, sales/distribution channels, cost structures, and revenue streams.

Interested teams must submit a brief online application. The application process will be open until Feb. 15, 2019.

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