Grupo Guayacán, Inc. announced Monday the launch of the sixth consecutive edition of the Guayacán Venture Accelerator. Since its inception in 2010, the GVA has emerged as one of the cornerstone entrepreneurial development programs offered by Grupo Guayacán.
This year, for the first time, and seeking to maximize the program’s impact, Guayacán will feature two sessions of the GVA to be held during spring and fall. Through its five-year history, the GVA has graduated 45 companies and 132 executives, representing close to 4,000 jobs in areas of high economic impact such as information technology, manufacturing, distribution, entertainment and other professional and financial services.
The GVA is the only business acceleration program in Puerto Rico designed to enhance the growth of established companies with at least three years of operations. To be accepted into the program, companies must demonstrate commitment and capacity to design and implement an aggressive growth plan that may include an expansion of its local presence, entry into international markets or launching new products or services.
The program provides a rigorous curriculum of advanced executive education offered by professors from top business schools around the world as well as high caliber local and international instructors dedicated to business development.
“The Guayacán Venture Accelerator is a unique opportunity for Puerto Rican entrepreneurs who are interested in growing their business exponentially. Our graduates are our best representation, successful companies that are intent on growing despite tough economic conditions and who are leaders for economic development by putting the island on the map of a highly competitive global market,” said Laura Cantero, executive director of Grupo Guayacán.
The companies selected to participate in the Guayacán Venture Accelerator 2015 spring session are: Acrylic & Plastics; Bowlera; Caribbean Produce Inc.; DC Engineering Group; Echo Consulting Group; Gasco Industrial; HLB Parissi; NPR Solutions Inc.; Safety Tracker; andStrategic Minds
Three executives from each of the participating companies will benefit from the intensive and practical curriculum of five workshops covering topics essential to accelerating their development, such as: identifying growth opportunities; growing your business internationally; corporate governance valuation; and getting ready to present to investors.
These workshops are taught by renowned instructors including: John Mullins, professor at the London Business School; Randy Thompson, president of VA Angels and Robert Davila, president of DHD Services and former Director of Grupo Guayacán. This year, the program has a new instructor: Lew Jaffe, Professor at the Fred Kiesner Center for Entrepreneurship at the School of Business at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California, and who will offer the Corporate Governance course.
Professor Jaffe is a seasoned executive with a career spanning more than 30 years, through which he has led the growth and turnaround of more than 20 public and private companies in a range of industries, creating more than $500 million in value for shareholders. The GVA concludes with a “Demo Day” in which participating companies have the opportunity to present their growth plans and investment capital needs to a panel of local and international investors.
“For the last 19 years, our vision has been focused on the development of global entrepreneurs and global ventures. The quality of the knowledge shared through GVA and the caliber of the instructors’ advances our vision by expanding, not only the participant’s imagination and possibilities, but their network of global players as well,” said Francisco Uriarte, chairman of the board of Grupo Guayacán.
Some of the most successful exporting local companies are GVA Alumni, including Rock Solid Technologies, Los Cidrines, Prime Air, Al Chavo, Nagnoi, INVID, Wovenware, Acrecent, TeleMedik, Wireless Idea and Aireko.
A recent survey of program graduates showed that after the GVA, 50 percent of participants experienced an increase in revenue, 63 percent reported an increase in sales and 75 percent said they had increased its number of employees. During 2014, the GVA graduated a new class of 11 companies, namely, Fuller Group, TransCita, Happy Pet, Knowledge Power Group and Atención Atención.
“Through the GVA we have obtained valuable tools allowing us to become a better leaders, learn how to identify and seize opportunities faster, improve and structure our growth plans and take our company to the next level,” said Jorge Ruiz, president of TransCita and 2014 GVA Alumni.
This year, for the first time, Grupo Guayacán will launch a comprehensive program to support GVA graduates. The GVA Alumni Program will include a series of five interactive workshops including: The one-Day MBA, Strategic Entrepreneurial Finance, Marketing and Social Media, among others. Additionally, program participants will have access to individual sessions with current and former GVA instructors.