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Grupo Guayacán seeks applications for 11th edition of Venture Accelerator

Grupo Guayacán Inc. announced the start of its annual call for applications for the Guayacán Venture Accelerator, an entrepreneurial education and development program for companies established in Puerto Rico seeking new growth opportunities.

Companies, which are selected through a competitive process, must be in operations for at least three years and demonstrate organizational capacity and commitment to design and implement an aggressive growth plan.

Participating teams will benefit from a curriculum of advanced education and tools to develop their growth plan, which may include increasing local market share, entry to international markets, or development of new products or services. GGI seeks to identify 10 to 12 companies to participate in the 2019 program.

The program consists of a series of 14 educational workshops offered by a renowned group of academics, professionals, executives, and investors from Puerto Rico, the United States, and Canada. In addition, each participating company will be paired with a mentor to help them implement their expansion plans.

Lastly, companies will benefit from a series of coaching sessions where distinguished entrepreneurs, investors, and professionals offer their perspectives and advice. The purpose of these sessions is to prepare companies to present their growth plans before a panel of business experts and local and international investors at the Guayacán Demo Day.

On Feb. 22nd, Grupo Guayacán will host an event for companies interested in the GVA. The event features a presentation by Antonio Sifre and Abdón Ruiz of Juncture Venture Advisors, GVA instructors and experts in corporate finance, exit planning, and mergers and acquisitions.

The theme of the presentation is “Planning for the Future: Transition and Exit Strategies for Growing Companies.”

“The GVA is a unique program in Puerto Rico that allows participating companies to look deeply into their business model to grow locally and, potentially, enter new international markets. We are incredibly proud of the success our GVA graduates have achieved and we invite Puerto Rican companies in search of new opportunities to accept the challenge and apply,” said Laura Cantero, executive director of Grupo Guayacán.

Since its launch in 2010, the GVA has become one of GGI’s cornerstone entrepreneurship programs and has impacted 88 companies representing over 6,500 jobs. The 2018 class included 11 companies: Able Sales, EDP University, La Ceba, Nazareno Services, Piloto 151, AZ Engineering, Conspro, IT Group, Levain Artisan Bakery, Synerlution, and South Caribbean Financial Services.

“As a result of our participation in the GVA, we are implementing new growth strategies, from creating new products to establishing new partnerships, and transforming our recruitment processes,” said Gabriela Soler, director of operations for Able Sales.

This new GVA class features a record growth in the Pay-it-Forward fellowship program. Founded by Jorge López, CEO of Fuller Group and GVA 2014 alumni, it covers the cost of tuition for a current participant who in turn commits to offer a scholarship to a participant of the subsequent class.

This is the fifth year that Fuller Group contributes uninterruptedly to the fellowship program, which has been granted to companies like La Ceba, Máximo Solar, Connect Road Assist, and MedPlus Solutions, among others.

In addition to the Pay-it-Forward, the GVA 2019 will also offer the Health Innovation Fellowship sponsored by the MCS Foundation and a fellowship sponsored by the Puerto Rico Builders Association for a leading company in the construction industry. The GVA is also supported by the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company.

Companies interested in participating in the GVA must apply HERE by May 1st. The program will be held from June to November 2019.

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